This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series What's Love Got To Do With It?

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As promised, here are some prayer tips on how a ManHusbandDad can live out the spiritual form of Eros, either in the married state or in the single state. Just like the physical love making between Husband and Wife creates spiritual new life, prayer produces spiritual new life, since it is a gift of self toward a loved one as well.

It is important to remember that our joys and sufferings by themselves have no power unless they are united to Jesus Christ. ManHusbandDads must become strongly devoted to the crucifixion. It is through Christ’s passion that enables our daily life to have meaning and power; “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church,” (Colossians 1:24).

Fasting and abstinence are necessary parts of the spiritual form of Eros. Doing acts of penance is part of the sacrificial offerings one can offer to Christ for one’s beloved. Make sure that an act of penance is approved by your spiritual director or priest. You never want to do an act of penance that might be too severe.

I also recommend that a ManHusbandDad becomes devoted to the mercy of God through the Divine Mercy Devotion. I see praying for someone whom a ManHusbandDad loves romantically as a form of mercy. Mercy, in its nature, is recognition of compassion and a gift of self. In other words, mercy in its nature is a looking out for the good in another. The Divine Mercy of God is seeking out the good in us poor sinners; loving us to the point to death, hoping that we will reciprocate back this great gift of Love. Since we are made in the image and likeness of God, mercy is part of our human nature, and we must be merciful to others, just like Christ is to us. The spiritual form of Eros, through prayer, is an act of mercy, because it is looking out for the good of someone who is intimately special.

A ManHusbandDad can pray to God to bless and keep holy the woman he has romantic feelings for by offering his joys and sufferings to the crucified Christ. This prayer should be short and to the point. If a man is married, he should never offer his joys and sufferings for an ex-girlfriend for example. The spiritual form of Eros in the area of prayer should be done under the spiritual direction of a good and holy priest. A ManHusbandDad should never be attached to a woman he is not married to. Here’s an example of a short, spontaneous prayer:

Lord Jesus, through the intercession of [name your favorite saint], and through the heart of Your Blessed Mother, I unite to Your most Sacred Heart on the cross; my joys and sufferings for [name of woman]. Use me as an instrument to bless [name of woman], protect, and keep her holy. Also keep [name of woman] faithful to You, and to her vocation of [name the vocation]. May [name of woman] be successful in all that she does, and give You glory!  Amen.

If the woman is still discerning her vocation, make sure to ask Christ to help her discover it and be faithful to that effort. For instance, instead of “”and to her vocation [name the vocation]” consider, “and to the discernment of the vocation you have chosen for her.”

No matter the time of day, this spontaneous prayer can be used by a Man to ask Christ to bless his beloved in whatever state of life she may be. This simple act of a Man praying for his beloved, is the essence of romantic love; which is the gift of self being given to a woman, but in a spiritual form.

When a ManHusbandDad prays for his beloved, he is spiritually benefiting from the sacrificial offering. Prayer benefits everybody: the person one is praying for, and the person who is doing the praying. It is a win-win situation where everybody benefits spiritually, and both grow in holiness.  I recommend reading “Love and Responsibility” by Saint Pope John Paul II and his “theology of the body” to get more of a theological understanding of sexuality.

It is my Hope that these spiritual tips will help every ManHusbandDad to grow in holiness, and to live out the Twelve Righteous Virtues more deeply.

May the Sacred Heart of Jesus continue to guide and bless you.

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