Bread of Life

Bread of Life
 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. (john 6: 50)
The miracle of God’s physical presence to us at every Mass is the truest testament to Christ’s love for us and His desire for each of us to have a personal relationship with Him. Jesus Christ celebrated the first Mass with His disciples at the Last Supper, the night before He died. He commanded His disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). The celebration of the Mass then became the main form of worship in the early Church, as a reenactment of the Last Supper, as Christ had commanded. Each and every Mass since commemorates Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross through the Holy Eucharist. Because the Mass “re-presents” (makes present) the sacrifice on Calvary, Catholics all around the world join together to be made present in Christ’s timeless sacrifice for our sins. There is something fascinating about continuing to celebrate the same Mass—instituted by Christ and practiced by the early Church—with the whole community of Catholics around the world…and in heaven.

bread of life

Why does the Catholic Church believe Christ is really present in the Eucharist?
The Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence is the belief that Jesus Christ is literally, not symbolically, present in the Holy Eucharist—body, blood, soul and divinity. Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist because Jesus tells us this is true in the Bible:

“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh." The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ So Jesus said to them,

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” - John 6:48-56
Furthermore, the early Church Fathers either imply or directly state that the bread and wine offered in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper is really the body and blood of Jesus Christ. In other words, the doctrine of the Real Presence that Catholics believe today was believed by the earliest Christians 2,000 years ago!

This miracle of God’s physical presence to us at every Mass is the truest testament to Christ’s love for us and His desire for each of us to have a personal relationship with Him.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


From Christianity’s beginnings, the Church has been attacked by those introducing false teachings, or heresies.

The Bible warned us this would happen. Paul told his young protégé, Timothy, "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths" (2 Tim. 4:3–4).

What Is Heresy?

Heresy is an emotionally loaded term that is often misused. It is not the same thing as incredulity, schism, apostasy, or other sins against faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and Catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him" (CCC 2089).

To commit heresy, one must refuse to be corrected. A person who is ready to be corrected or who is unaware that what he has been saying is against Church teaching is not a heretic.

A person must be baptized to commit heresy. This means that movements that have split off from or been influenced by Christianity, but that do not practice baptism (or do not practice valid baptism), are not heresies, but separate religions. Examples include Muslims, who do not practice baptism, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, who do not practice valid baptism.

Finally, the doubt or denial involved in heresy must concern a matter that has been revealed by God and solemnly defined by the Church (for example, the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the sacrifice of the Mass, the pope’s infallibility, or the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Mary).

It is important to distinguish heresy from schism and apostasy. In schism, one separates from the Catholic Church without repudiating a defined doctrine. An example of a contemporary schism is the Society of St. Pius X—the "Lefebvrists" or followers of the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre—who separated from the Church in the late 1980s, but who have not denied Catholic doctrines. In apostasy, one totally repudiates the Christian faith and no longer even claims to be a Christian.

With this in mind, let’s look at some of the major heresies of Church history and when they began.

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Sunday, November 15, 2015


Vatican shocked over Paris terror attacks, calls for global response!

Vatican City, Nov 13, 2015 / 06:58 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After Friday evening's devastating terror attacks throughout Paris that are reported to have claimed over 100 lives, the Vatican voiced its dismay over the events and urged a “decisive” response.

“We are shocked by this new manifestation of maddening, terrorist violence and hatred which we condemn in the most radical way together with the Pope and all those who love peace,” Holy See press office director Fr. Federico Lombardi said in a statement.

“We pray for the victims and the wounded, and for all the French people. This is an attack on peace for all humanity, and it requires a decisive, supportive response on the part of all of us as we counter the spread the homicidal hatred in all of its forms.”

Numerous attacks across the city of Paris were reported on the evening of Nov. 13. Explosions were reported near the Stade de France, the national stadium where a soccer match was underway. Shootings were reported in the area of the famous Louvre museum and the nearby Les Halles shopping mall, as well as Le Petit Cambodge restaurant.

In addition, dozens of hostages were reportedly held at Bataclan concert hall. French police stormed the concert hall and later declared the hostage situation over, saying that they had killed two attackers. AFP quoted police sources saying about 100 people had been killed in the concert venue.

Amid the violence, French President Francois Hollande announced a state of emergency throughout the entire country and said that the nation’s borders would be closed.

Global leaders from U.S. president Barack Obama to British prime minister David Cameron, as well heads of state from around the world expressed outrage and sadness over the grisly attacks.

 Church leaders also voiced their solidarity with the victims and their families. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops urged prayer for all involved, with individual bishops posting their reactions via social media.

“May St. Denis and Our Lady of Lourdes intercede tonight for the people of Paris,” Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska said on Twitter.

“My prayers are with the people of Paris tonight. Let us pray for the victims, the hostages, and their families,” said Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas and Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth also voiced prayers on Twitter.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Lesson 19:

Q. 776. What is Confession? A. Confession is the telling of our sins to a duly authorized priest, for the purpose of obtaining forgiveness.

Q. 777. Who is a duly authorized priest? A. A duly authorized priest is one sent to hear confessions by the lawful bishop of the diocese in which we are at the time of our confession.

Q. 778. Is it ever allowed to write our sins and read them to the priest in the confessional or give them to him to read? A. It is allowed, when necessary, to write our sins and read them to the priest, as persons do who have almost entirely lost their memory. It is also allowed to give the paper to the priest, as persons do who have lost the use of their speech. In such cases the paper must, after the confession, be carefully destroyed either by the priest or the penitent.

Q. 779. What is to be done when persons must make their confession and cannot find a priest who understands their language? A. Persons who must make their confession and who cannot find a priest who understands their language, must confess as best they can by some signs, showing what sins they wish to confess and how they are sorry for them.

Q. 780. What sins are we bound to confess?

A. We are bound to confess all our mortal sins, but it is well also to confess our venial sins.

Q. 781. Why is it well to confess also the venial sins we remember? A. It is well to confess also the venial sins we remember: 1. Because it shows our hatred of all sin, and 2. Because it is sometimes difficult to determine just when a sin is venial and when mortal.

Q. 782. What should one do who has only venial sins to confess? A. One who has only venial sins to confess should tell also some sin already confessed in his past life for which he knows he is truly sorry; because it is not easy to be truly sorry for slight sins and imperfections, and yet we must be sorry for the sins confessed that our confession may be valid -- hence we add some past sin for which we are truly sorry to those for which we may not be sufficiently sorry.

Q. 783. Should a person stay from confession because he thinks he has no sin to confess? A. A person should not stay from confession because he thinks he has no sin to confess, for the Sacrament of Penance, besides forgiving sin, gives an increase of sanctifying grace, and of this we have always need, especially to resist temptation. The Saints, who were almost without imperfection, went to confession frequently.

Q. 784. Should a person go to Communion after confession even when the confessor does not bid him go? A. A person should go to Communion after confession even when the confessor does not bid him go, because the confessor so intends unless he positively forbids his penitent to receive Communion. However, one who has not yet received his first Communion should not go to Communion after confession, even if the confessor by mistake should bid him go.

Q. 785. Which are the chief qualities of a good Confession? A. The chief qualities of a good Confession are three: it must be humble, sincere, and entire.

Q. 786. When is our Confession humble? A. Our Confession is humble when we accuse ourselves of our sins, with a deep sense of shame and sorrow for having offended God.

Q. 787. When is our Confession sincere? A. Our Confession is sincere when we tell our sins honestly and truthfully, neither exaggerating nor excusing them.

Q. 788. Why is it wrong to accuse ourselves of sins we have not committed? A. It is wrong to accuse ourselves of sins we have not committed, because, by our so doing, the priest cannot know the true state of our souls, as he must do before giving us absolution.

Q. 789. When is our Confession entire? A. Our Confession is entire when we tell the number and kinds of our sins and the circumstances which change their nature.

Q. 790. What do you mean by the "kinds of sin?" A. By the "kinds of sin," we mean the particular division or class to which the sins belong; that is, whether they be sins of blasphemy, disobedience, anger, impurity, dishonesty, etc. We can determine the kind of sin by discovering the commandment or precept of the Church we have broken or the virtue against which we have acted.

Q. 791. What do we mean by "circumstances which change the nature of sins?" A. By "circumstances which change the nature of sins" we mean anything that makes it another kind of sin. Thus to steal is a sin, but to steal from the Church makes our theft sacrilegious. Again, impure actions are sins, but a person must say whether they were committed alone or with others, with relatives or strangers, with persons married or single, etc., because these circumstances change them from one kind of impurity to another.

Q. 792. What should we do if we cannot remember the number of our sins? A. If we cannot remember the number of our sins, we should tell the number as nearly as possible, and say how often we may have sinned in a day, a week, or a month, and how long the habit or practice has lasted.

Q. 793. Is our Confession worthy if, without our fault, we forget to confess a mortal sin? A. If without our fault we forget to confess a mortal sin, our Confession is worthy, and the sin is forgiven; but it must be told in Confession if it again comes to our mind.

Q. 794. May a person who has forgotten to tell a mortal sin in confession go to Holy Communion before going again to confession? A. A person who has forgotten to tell a mortal sin in confession may go to communion before again going to confession, because the forgotten sin was forgiven with those confessed, and the confession was good and worthy.

Q. 795. Is it a grievous offense willfully to conceal a mortal sin in Confession? A. It is a grievous offense willfully to conceal a mortal sin in Confession, because we thereby tell a lie to the Holy Ghost, and make our Confession worthless.

Q. 796. How is concealing a sin telling a lie to the Holy Ghost? A. Concealing a sin is telling a lie to the Holy Ghost, because he who conceals the sin declares in confession to God and the priest that he committed no sins but what he has confessed, while the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth, saw him committing the sin he now conceals and still sees it in his soul while he denies it.

Q. 797. Why is it foolish to conceal sins in confession?

A. It is foolish to conceal sins in confession: 1. Because we thereby make our spiritual condition worse; 2. We must tell the sin sometime if we ever hope to be saved; 3.It will be made known on the day of judgment, before the world, whether we conceal it now or confess it.

Q. 798. What must he do who has willfully concealed a mortal sin in Confession? A. He who has willfully concealed a mortal sin in Confession must not only confess it, but must also repeat all the sins he has committed since his last worthy Confession.

Q. 799. Must one who has willfully concealed a mortal sin in confession do more than repeat the sins committed since his last worthy confession? A. One who has willfully concealed a mortal sin in confession must, besides repeating all the sins he has committed since his last worthy confession, tell also how often he has unworthily received absolution and Holy Communion during the same time.

Q. 800. Why does the priest give us a penance after Confession? A. The priest gives us a penance after Confession, that we may satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to our sins.

Q. 801. Why should we have to satisfy for our sins if Christ has fully satisfied for them? A. Christ has fully satisfied for our sins and after our baptism we were free from all guilt and had no satisfaction to make. But when we willfully sinned after baptism, it is but just that we should be obliged to make some satisfaction.

Q. 802. Is the slight penance the priest gives us sufficient to satisfy for all the sins confessed? A. The slight penance the priest gives us is not sufficient to satisfy for all the sins confessed: 1.Because there is no real equality between the slight penance given and the punishment deserved for sin; 2.Because we are all obliged to do penance for sins committed, and this would not be necessary if the penance given in confession satisfied for all. The penance is given and accepted in confession chiefly to show our willingness to do penance and make amends for our sins.

Q. 803. Does not the Sacrament of Penance remit all punishment due to sin? A. The Sacrament of Penance remits the eternal punishment due to sin, but it does not always remit the temporal punishment which God requires as satisfaction for our sins.

Q. 804. Why does God require a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin? A. God requires a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin to teach us the great evil of sin and to prevent us from falling again.

Q. 805. Which are the chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin? A. The chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin are: Prayer, Fasting, Alms - Giving; all spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and the patient suffering of the ills of life.

Q. 806. What fasting has the greatest merit? A. The fasting imposed by the Church on certain days of the year, and particularly during Lent, has the greatest merit.

Q. 807. What is Lent? A. Lent is the forty days before Easter Sunday, during which we do penance, fast and pray to prepare ourselves for the resurrection of Our Lord; and also to remind us of His own fast of forty days before His Passion.

Q. 808. What do we mean by "alms - giving"? A. By alms - giving we mean money, goods, or assistance given to the poor or to charitable purposes. The law of God requires all persons to give alms in proportion to their means.

Q. 809. What "ills of life" help to satisfy God for sin? A. The ills of life that help to satisfy God for sin are sickness, poverty, misfortune, trial, affliction, etc., especially, when we have not brought them upon ourselves by sin.

Q. 810. How did the Christians in the first ages of the Church do Penance? A. The Christians in the first ages of the Church did public penance, especially for the sins of which they were publicly known to be guilty. Penitents were excluded for a certain time from Mass or the Sacrament, and some were obliged to stand at the door of the Church begging the prayers of those who entered.

Q. 811. What were these severe Penances of the First Ages of the Church called? A. These severe penances of the first ages of the Church were called canonical penances, because their kind and duration were regulated by the Canons or laws of the Church.

Q. 812. How can we know spiritual from corporal works of mercy? A. We can know spiritual from corporal works of mercy, for whatever we do for the soul is a spiritual work, and whatever we do for the body is a corporal work.

Q. 813. Which are the chief spiritual works of mercy? A. The chief spiritual works of mercy are seven: 1.To admonish the sinner, to instruct the ignorant, to counsel the doubtful, to comfort the sorrowful, to bear wrongs patiently, to forgive all injuries, and to pray for the living and the dead.

Q. 814. When are we bound to admonish the sinner? A. We are bound to admonish the sinner when the following conditions are fulfilled: 1.When his fault is a mortal sin; 2.When we have authority or influence over him, and 3. When there is reason to believe that our warning will not make him worse instead of better.

Q. 815. Who are meant by the "ignorant" we are to instruct, and the "doubtful" we are to counsel? A. By the ignorant we are to instruct and the doubtful we are to counsel, are meant those particularly who are ignorant of the truths of religion and those who are in doubt about matters of faith. We must aid such persons as far as we can to know and believe the truths necessary for salvation.

Q. 816. Why are we advised to bear wrong patiently and to forgive all injuries? A. We are advised to bear wrongs patiently and to forgive all injuries, because, being Christians, we should imitate the example of Our Divine Lord, who endured wrongs patiently and who not only pardoned but prayed for those who injured Him.

Q. 817. If, then, it be a Christian virtue to forgive all injuries, why do Christians establish courts and prisons to punish wrongdoers? A. Christians establish courts and prisons to punish wrongdoers, because the preservation of lawful authority, good order in society, the protection of others, and sometimes even the good of the guilty one himself, require that crimes be justly punished. As God Himself punishes crime and as lawful authority comes from Him, such authority has the right to punish, though individuals should forgive the injuries done to themselves personally.

Q. 818. Why is it a work of mercy to pray for the living and the dead? A. It is a work of mercy to aid those who are unable to aid themselves. The living are exposed to temptations, and while in mortal sin they are deprived of the merit of their good works and need our prayers. The dead can in no way help themselves and depend on us for assistance.

Q. 819. Which are the chief corporal works of mercy? A. The chief corporal works of mercy are seven: 1.To feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to ransom the captive, to harbor the harbor - less, to visit the sick, and to bury the dead.

Q. 820. How may we briefly state the corporal works of mercy? A. We may briefly state the corporal works of mercy by saying that we are obliged to help the poor in all their forms of want.

Q. 821. How are Christians aided in the performance of works of mercy? A. Christians are aided in the performance of works of mercy through the establishment of charitable institutions where religious communities of holy men or women perform these duties for us, provided we supply the necessary means by our alms - giving and good works.

Q. 822. Who are religious? A. Religious are self-sacrificing men and women who, wishing to follow more closely the teachings of Our Lord, dedicate their lives to the service of God and religion. They live together in societies approved by the Church, under a rule and guidance of a superior. They keep the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, and divide their time between prayer and good works. The houses in which they dwell are called convents or monasteries, and the societies in which they live are called religious orders, communities or congregations.

Q. 823. Are there any religious communities of priests? A. There are many religious communities of priests, who, besides living according to the general laws of the Church, as all priests do, follow certain rules laid down for their community. Such priests are called the regular clergy, because living by rules to distinguish them from the secular clergy who live in their parishes under no special rule. The chief work of the regular clergy is to teach in colleges and give missions and retreats.

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Monday, October 26, 2015


"Of all the many religions and belief systems in the world, how can you be so sure the Catholic Church is the true one?"

Because only the Catholic Church possesses the fullness of the means of salvation (CCC, para 816).

"Could you be wrong?"

I can't see how I could be wrong. Having weighed up all the available evidence, I honestly can't see how Catholicism could be wrong. I am as sure as I can be. Catholicism is, beyond reasonable doubt, the one true religion.

"Do you realise that you sound very arrogant when you say that only Catholicism is the only completely true religion?"

I hope I don't sound arrogant. I certainly don't intend to come across as arrogant. I'm truly sorry if you think that. But, if in a classroom exam, or a sports meet, or a competition of any kind where an undisputed winner results, is it arrogant for the winner to claim to be the winner?

Certainly, a winner should be gracious in victory, but it would be false humility to deny being the best in that particular situation. It's only boasting if you can't back it up, and Catholicism can certainly back it up. But this doesn't mean Catholics are superior. We are all in need of the redemption of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

"Many Catholics don't adhere to your extreme Catholic views." It is true that today many Catholics do not assent to the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church as enunciated by the Pope and those bishops who are in union with him. This compiler has sought to present only that which the Church authentically teaches (hence the index at the back which provides links to the Catechism of the Catholic Church - CCC).

So, what you are really saying is that the authentic teachings of Catholicism are 'extreme'. Therefore, please first be sure your knowledge of Catholicism is accurate before judging it. There's nothing wrong with being passionate about the truth as long as one's passion does not become fanatical; faithfulness is not extremism.

"How can anyone be sure that the one true religion is not still to come sometime later in the future?"

Because the one true religion (Catholicism) has already proved itself to be true. Your question proceeds from a lack of understanding of the one true religion. When you actually study Catholicism's teachings and those people who fully lived up to its ideals (they're called saints) you will realise that the one true religion is here and so there is no need to look for another. 2 + 2 = 4.
There is no middle-ground to this answer. 4.1 or 3.9 are close but they are not good enough answers; they're not correct. Only 4 is totally right. 4 is Catholicism. It either is or it isn't. Therefore, put Catholicism to the test. Remember, don't judge it by its sinful members. Its teachings, its faith, its morals will reveal its truthfulness. No religion has an all-perfect membership.

"So why then is everyone not Catholic?"

People are not Catholic because: 1) Catholics have not been practicing what their Church preaches and have therefore scandalized others with their sinful conduct; 2) they don't know what the Church teaches and so build up false ideas of Catholicism; 3) they don't want to know what the Church teaches so as to persist in some lifestyle that is contrary to the truth of Catholicism.

"Catholicism is your truth, but it's not my truth. Catholicism is your reality, but it's not my reality. Truth is whatever I believe it to be. Reality is subjective."

The belief that truth is different for different people is false because it is based on an inherent contradiction. What you're really saying is that there is no absolute truth for everyone except the ‘absolute truth' that there is no absolute truth! If nothing is true, then neither is the statement that nothing is true. If the statement that nothing is true is not true, then something must be true. And so, truth must exist, and it must also necessarily exist for everyone.

And since Catholicism alone possesses the fullest measure of truth on Earth, Catholicism necessarily exists for everyone. If reality really was subjective, we could change it by wishing. But we can't. For example, if we think we don't need food, we'll starve. Reality is not ‘all in the mind'. We are (we exist), therefore we think; not vice versa.

"Will Catholicism make me a better person?"

It should. To come into possession of the fullness of revealed truth really ought to make you a better person, since by knowing more truth than before ought to be beneficial to you personally. However, you are still free to refuse to act on the fullness of truth that you acquire by becoming Catholic.

"But I'm a nice, sincere person who doesn't need Catholicism."

Neither niceness nor sincerity fulfills the criteria for our salvation. Being your own judge is a very risky business.

"Am I ever going to give you a question the Catholic Church cannot answer?"

I honestly know of no question pertaining to factors essential to our salvation of which the Catholic Church cannot provide an answer. Wherever possible, reference to original sources of information has been given. The compiler has included personal thoughts from time to time, but most of this compilation is from far greater minds. Please read on and show me where Catholicism is wrong. Everyone wants Truth.

"Why this book?"

Because I don't want anyone to mistakenly believe that any one of the issues this book raises is a reason for not entering the true Church. There really is no good reason for everyone not being Catholic. This book is by no means exhaustive, but it has been compiled in order to give the reader a glimpse of the truth of Catholicism by refuting some of the most common errors and misconceptions that are currently assailing the Catholic Church. Please compare your truth with Catholicism.

"Sum up the teachings of Catholicism in one sentence."

The teachings of Catholicism are the teachings of Christ.

References: SOME USEFUL SOURCES OF INFORMATION: contains a Q+A forum in the FAITH section of their menu; JOHN XXIII Fellowship Co-op. Ltd., ph/fx 03 9578 2706; Cardinal Newman Catechist Consultants â€" ph/fx 02 4829 0297; IGNATIUS Press, ph 07 3376 0105; St Joseph Communications, ph 08 9572 4343; Paul’s Family Books, ph 08 92791964; San Juan Seminars, PO Box 5253, Farmington, NM 87499-5235, USA, ph (505) 327-5343.

* Please note that this text should be read in the context of the whole work and in recognition of the appropriate paragraphs of the Catechism of the Catholic Church highlighted in the index.

Friday, October 16, 2015


Dear Synod Fathers,

My husband and I were married in April 2008. Despite a lovely courtship and beautiful wedding, the first eighteen months of our marriage were terrible. Although we loved one another, we were unprepared for the daily compromises, negotiations and renunciations of self that a loving and successful marriage requires.

Independent and extremely willful, we fought. We fought so ferociously and so often that after we entered couples therapy, our therapist told my husband that he should leave me. It would always be this way, she said. Things would never “change.”

Our marriage is now strong, happy and healthy. We’ve been married for over seven years and have three beautiful children. We hope to have more children and we’re committed to leading hidden, holy lives within the sacrament of our marriage in service of one another and the children given to us by God. How did this change happen? How was our marriage saved and transformed?

Our most steadfast supporter was the Church Herself. The Church’s position on the indissolubility of marriage and Her willingness to stand by this teaching in praxis (and not just in doctrine) strengthened us. She left us with no choice but to try and try again until things improved.

She also provided us with the support and help we needed. We attended confession often. Faithful priests counseled and encouraged us. Older Catholic couples joyfully showed us that it was possible to have a happy marriage and how to do so.

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