The greatest gift you can give your child is to love your spouse, despite the challenges and obstacles that arise in your marriage, said Scott Hahn, noted theologian and author.
“God prefers to work through husbands and wives,” Hahn said at the Arboretum in June. “Married couples fall in and out of love, because love is more than a feeling. When you feel like you’ve fallen out of love, it’s like winter. But spring is on the way – if you let it come.”
During his visit to the Christ Cathedral Campus, Hahn discussed in a series of talks the importance of creating strong families, fostering positive relationships with others and practicing responsible parenting.
Learning how to apologize with sincerity and to forgive are keys to a successful marriage, said Hahn, who has been married for 38 years to his wife, Kimberly.
“If you’re married, and if you’re on the verge of giving up hope or already past that point, realize that God alone is the grace of the sacrament and he is the one who can get you and your spouse through,” Hahn said. “Even if your spouse doesn’t think so, God does. And it begins with forgiving them from the heart.”
Several hundred attendees gathered at the Arboretum for Hahn’s discussions, which were broadcast live on the Christ Cathedral and Diocese of Orange Facebook pages to viewers across the globe. The Christ Cathedral and Diocese of Orange Facebook pages regularly broadcast live events, including Sunday Mass from the Arboretum.
Hahn, a former protestant minister who converted to Catholicism in 1986, has authored nearly two-dozen books and is a popular speaker, often discussing how Christians and fallen-away Catholics can embrace and reclaim the Catholic faith. He is the founder and president of St. Paul center for Biblical Theology, an Ohio-based nonprofit Catholic research and educational institute.
His talks at the Arboretum were titled “The Fourth Cup: Miracles of Mercy in the Eucharist” and “The First Society: Miracles of Mercy in Marriage.” In the latter, Hahn discussed marriage, fidelity and divine mercy.
“Sin is proof that we are willing to settle for too little,” said Hahn, who teaches at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. “Our deepest longings are not fulfilled in momentary passions, but only when we make our life a gift of love.”
“We have to practice self-denial in order to achieve self-mastery,” Hahn added. “Self-giving love is the only thing that fulfills us.”
Fostering a loving family and being a devoted parent is far more than a biological and social construct – it’s something that is sacred, Hahn said. Family is sacred.
“As Catholics, we are in the family of God,” Hahn said. “We have a sense of timing to develop for our lives marriages families and other things we do. We experience the miracle of God’s mercy in our families and marriages.”