An Unexpected Tradition

By Ty Salvant

How are new traditions formed? Some are started intentionally, while others happen organically.

One year, our Catholic Engaged Encounter community introduced an enrichment during Lent:  Stations of the Cross for Married Couples. We all loved it so much that we decided to repeat it the following year and the year after that.

When we started it, we had no idea that we would still be hosting it 14 years later, but we are, and it’s one of our favorite Lenten traditions.

While the format is familiar, the reflections and prayers of this beautiful and powerful devotion call us to contemplate how actions – or lack thereof – in our marriage led to Jesus’ crucifixion.

From a sacramental point of view, marriage represents God’s faithful love. This is an opportunity to examine how well our marriage mirrors God’s love for our spouse. Are there times we have failed to live up to our marital commitment? Of course. Do we challenge ourselves to grow or do we lower expectations of our spouse? What’s interfering with living our sacrament daily and making our marriage the best it can be? What do we need to add or remove from our lives to better love our spouse?

Lent is an opportunity for growth and the Stations of the Cross is a powerful tool to help us identify areas we need to address. This devotion lovingly encourages us to do better. We are called to continuously grow in faith individually, as a couple and a family.

As a way of giving back to our community, our local New Orleans Catholic Engaged Encounter Community opened this moving enrichment to the archdiocese. Our next Lenten Date Night is March 25 at 6 p.m. at St. Dominic Church in New Orleans. A light reception follows the Stations of the Cross. For questions or to reserve a group, email or call (504) 457-8119. For those who can’t attend, an internet search will provide guides for personal use. This is a tradition worth starting on purpose.


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