Yesterday was our 12th anniversary, and although we are delaying our celebration until my mom comes out in a couple of weeks (we never seem to go on dates except when my mom comes into town. From another state.) we did happen to attend an informational meeting about a program designed to nurture married couples in their spiritual lives – Teams of Our Lady. It’s just getting started at our parish and we’ve decided to give it a try for the first five “pilot” meetings. I’m excited, as it will be a way for us to connect with other families, which is hard when you’ve just moved to a new place. It seems to offer a decent amount of structure and accountability, in terms of the monthly meetings we’ll attend with other couples, without being quite as, shall we say, demanding as other movements.
I’ve actually never been involved with a “movement,” per se, so this should be interesting.
From their website:
TEAMS OF OUR LADY IS…
An international movement of married couples whose purposes in the Movement and in Team life are:
- growth in the spiritual life of the couple and family through a program of prayer and study
- growth in communication between husband and wife with a developing intimacy through shared prayer and regular in-depth talks
- a way of life designed to make their Christian faith a daily living experience
Each Team is made up of 5 to 7 couples and a Spiritual Counselor.
The movement does not impose a particular type of spirituality on its members, but rather Teams couples agree to practice a spiritual direction that includes:
- daily individual, couple, and family prayer
- regular reading and reflection on sacred scripture
- a monthly husband and wife discussion of family and spiritual matters
- an individual “rule of life” for personal improvement
The movement was founded in 1947 in France, which I think means I should wear a scarf and pay more attention to proper grooming of my eyebrows if we’re going to be serious about this. It seems to involve mutual support among couples without boiling down to the dreaded “Forced Sharing” model of spiritual growth. The central prayer of the movement (which I’m having a hard time referring to as “T.O.O.L.” but perhaps I’ll get over it) is the Magnificat, which has long been a favorite prayer of mine:
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
My Spirit rejoices in God my Saviour
For He has looked with favour on His lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
The Almighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His Name.
He has mercy on those who fear Him
In every generation.
He has shown the strength of His arm,
He has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
And has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of His servant Israel
For He has remembered His promise of mercy,
The promise He made to our fathers,
To Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning.
is now, and will be forever.