Fr. Leo Patalinghug delivers energetic talk about the joys and crosses of married life at the World Meeting of Families.
Fr. Leo is “a priest member of a community of consecrated life, Voluntas Dei. He is the Founder, Host, and Director of Plating Grace, an international apostolate to help strengthen families and relationship through God’s gift of a family meal.” He is also well known for being the “host of Savoring Our Faith on EWTN, which was developed following his dynamic win on the cooking competition, ‘Throw Down! with Bobby Flay.'”
In his presentation Fr. Leo used numerous cooking analogies to help married couples understand what they need to do in order to have a joy-filled marriage.
While cooking Fr. Leo explained how “we are going to be making a beautiful dessert, because marriage is sweet, but I am also going to some cayenne pepper, because marriage is also spicy.” He encouraged couples to work hard for their marriage, enjoying the good moments and persevering during those times when it is most difficult.
Furthermore, Fr. Leo warned couples about how there “is a force out there called the Evil One, the devil, who always likes to contradict God. The devil wants to pull you apart, which is why you have to fight against those forces and the way you become closer together is through … food.”
He went on to say that he is not only talking about physical food, but more importantly, spiritual food. Fr. Leo explained that if you are not feeding your spouse with spiritual food, the devil will feed him/her, just like what happened to Adam and Eve in the Garden.
One of the main themes of his talk centered on the need to sacrifice for each other and how sacrifice is the perfect form of love, taking Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as the supreme example.
Fr. Leo encouraged the couples present to recognize the beauty of sacrifice within their marriage and how it will ultimately lead them to their own mutual sanctification.
“It’s love at first sight,” Fr. Leo said, “When you see God in the other person, because God is love.”
Whenever a couple approaches him for marriage preparation, Fr. Leo always tries to relay to them that marriage is not simply a union of two, but a union of three. Marriage must always be a union between husband, wife and God. Without this foundation, Fr. Leo explained, a marriage will crumble.
In the midst of his talk, Fr. Leo also offered a short comment about the current sexual abuse crisis, saying, “Let’s not kid ourselves, we [as priests] are not fully committed to holiness” and sacrifice. This is why Fr. Leo stated he renews his priestly vows every morning and asks God for the grace to remain obedient to him, listening to his mission.
His presentation was well received by a packed auditorium, with several participants able to taste his delicious dessert afterwards.
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