Not always as it appears

Matt and Mindy Dalton

Marriages are usually not ruined overnight. One or the other usually does not wake up one morning and say, “I am miserable in this marriage and I want a divorce.”

It occurs little by little over time. Little by little, we can begin to avoid certain topics of conversation (since the last time that topic came up, it led to a fight). Little by little, we disagree on how to handle disciplining the children. Little by little, we argue over finances, whether to change jobs, sex, household chores, the kids, love, respect; the list goes on. Little by little, our hearts become hardened and our minds start wandering to thoughts of, “I don’t know why I married this person. I don’t deserve to live like this. I wonder what life would be like if things were different?”

What we think most couples do not realize is that we all struggle with many of the same topics, maybe to varying degrees. We look at the other couples in the pews and think, “They are so happy; what is wrong with us?”

Just because we are in fulltime Marriage Missionaries work doesn’t mean we have it all figured out and neither do most couples that we know. Our world tells us that we should have the perfect job, the perfect spouse, amazing children; and what happens is a little curve in the road comes upon us and it blows our perfect plan to pieces. Sharing our curves in the road with other couples who have been there; seeking their wisdom and guidance can help minimize the damage.

Our origin as man, male and female, is from a communion of persons; the blessed Trinity, Father Son and Holy Spirit. As husband and wife we are made for communion and our destiny is the communion of saints where we will be in joyous communion with God for eternity.

Consider looking around at your community and pray about having a group of couples come together on a regular basis, to share hospitality and the beauty of our faith. Sharing both struggles and joys, gaining confidence with each other so as to build each other up as married couples raising Godly children and grandchildren.

Somehow God works through the struggles. When our younger four children were 10, 9, 7 and a newborn, it was quite the task getting ourselves and the other three up and ready for 8:30 a.m. Mass, but especially the younger four.

We always woke them in what we felt was plenty of time to go to the bathroom, get dressed, brush their teeth, fix their hair, get shoes tied and loaded in the SUV. Five minutes before it was time to leave, Katie was missing a shoe, Julianna still had her PJs on and Joseph thought this would be the perfect time to work on his jump shot on the indoor plastic basketball hoop. Things escalated and the yelling started: “Hurry up, we are going to be late” or “Stop touching your brother,” “Leave her alone!”; “Do that one more time.”

Somehow we made it to Mass with a couple of minutes to spare; filed in the pew in the correct order (certain children can’t sit by certain children, if you know what I mean); we took a deep breath, tried to appear as though all was wonderful, knelt down to pray, when the usher walked up to us, leaned over and said, “You guys look like the perfect family to bring up the gifts.” “You have got to be kidding me” was the thought I had in my mind. But instead, we smiled and said, “Sure, we’d be glad to.”

COMING UP: Sensitive locations, not ‘sanctuary’

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DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 11: Msgr. Bernie Schmitz preaches the homily during the announcement of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish as a diocesan shrine on December 11, 2016, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Anya Semenoff/Denver Catholic)

With the election of President Donald Trump, many immigrants are uncertain of their future in America. The situation has ignited a national conversation about immigrants and their legal status.

The term “sanctuary” has been making waves in the headlines recently after Denver immigrant Jeanette Vizguerra sought assistance at a local Unitarian church for fear of being deported. The term itself has largely been adopted by the media to describe cities where immigrants cannot be questioned about their immigration status and locations where immigrants can seek refuge and be safe from arrest.

While the so-called “Muslim ban” has been garnering a lot of media attention, there’s another piece of the conversation that’s equally as pertinent; that of the immigrants who are already living in the U.S.; those who have fled their home country in search of something better, established their lives here — and many of which are of Latino descent.

The fear among many Latinos is still prevalent, as many wonder what will become of their residence here in the U.S. under a Trump presidency.

“For those here today illegally who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and only one route: to return home and apply for re-entry,” President Trump said in an Aug. 31 speech in Phoenix, Ariz.

The law doesn’t give definition to “sanctuary” but instead describes places where immigrants are safe from any sort of enforcement action by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as “sensitive locations.” A 2011 memorandum distributed by ICE outlines that sensitive locations include, but are not limited to: schools, hospitals, churches, synagogues, mosques or other institutions of worship, the site of a funeral, wedding or other public religious ceremony and public demonstrations, such as a rally or march.

The memo states that enforcement actions are prohibited from taking place in any of these locations without prior approval by an ICE supervisor. In this event, supervisors are to “take extra care when assessing whether a planned enforcement action could reasonably be viewed as causing significant disruption to the normal operations of the sensitive location.”

The policy does, however, call for exigent circumstances in which enforcement actions can be carried out without prior approval. These include: matters of national security or terrorism, an imminent risk of death, violence or physical harm to any person or property, the immediate arrest of individual(s) that present an imminent danger to public safety, or an imminent risk of destruction of evidence material to an ongoing criminal case.

Should any of these situations arise, the memo instructs ICE agents to “conduct themselves as discretely as possible, consistency with office and public safety, and make every effort to lift the time at or focused on the sensitive location.”