you got it right. CLP, it’s Christian life program. If you reached this blog you probably already heard of CLP through a friend who invited you or probably have read it on facebook on someone’s posting.
So what is CLP in a nutshell? firstly this is a religious activity, that’s a given. It consists of 13 weekdays, 1 day on each week for 13 weeks succession, that will require you to attend and sit down for like 2-3 hours of your time. So example if your CLP day is on a saturday then each saturday on the next 13 weeks you will devote it to CLP, most probably same time every saturday. What’s gonna happen on that 13 saturdays? On the first saturday, this is important, this is the Orientation. So for what it’s called, it is what it is. You’ll be oriented of what this CLP is all about and what you need to do and what you’ll expect and of course a lot of encouragement from the guys who already have finished CLP. I actually missed this orientation day for some reasons (how i regret it later though). The next 12 saturdays are like a seminar format, wherein they have a speaker, usually elder members of the couples for christ or priests, they call it talks. Each talks has different topics although they are inter related. They are all about the formation of couples, lives as individuals forming with God on the center. After each talks couples will be grouped, albeit separately. All husbands forms a group of 3-5 members same with wives. Husbands get to discuss with other husbands and wives get to discuss with other wives. Each group will have a discussion leader, they are usually elder members of the couples for Christ, not necessarily older but let’s think of them as the guys who also went to CLP 2-3 years before you. Then of course, since it’s a long talk and the members understandably will get hungry, and here’s my favorite part (kidding!) there is food. yummy delicious food. So to sum up, there’ll be talks, discussions, prayers and worship songs for 13 days spread on 13 weeks.Is it all worth it? If you ask me, you would not expect me blurting out negatives right? Since you already know i am a passionate member of the couples for Christ. Although bias aside, or objectively speaking, even though you are not religious as i was before, CLP will help you and your wife. Most of the talks will help couples strengthen their bonds, help couples understand their differences, and help couples to sustain their long journey together. The good thing about CLP is that the guys who gives the talks are also all married and living their lives with their family, so that alone is a big plus since you know they are speaking from experience. Although there are cases that the speaker will be a priests but usually the topics covered by them are the spiritual side which too is a big help on how couples learn to depend to God and prayer. Now if you are not really religious, just listen and give it a chance first. Now at the end of the day if it’s not for you then do not apply it. There are 11 other talks that I am sure will help you as couples, the talks that do not necessarily stress out the religion but the formation of husbands and wives. Overall, i will guarantee you that these talks will do good to your lives as couples than harm.
So you might be asking yourselves “Will it bore me and my partner?”, well to answer this honestly, it really depends on the speaker for that talk and the topic. There are natural born speakers that even though they talk about an apple falling from a tree you will still pay attention and give your 100% and on the contrary there are speakers who will naturally lull you to sleep. Although in our case, we find the speakers and the topic really interesting and lively, never did me and my wife felt like sleeping in the middle of the talks. Each talk was something worth learning on our part, it’s like it was made for us and for our married lives. All in all i could almost guarantee that you will not be bored especially since the topic is about you and your partner, it is for your best interest.
“My wife and I is not religious, why should i join?” If you are not religious then so am I before CLP. I am not saying that this will turn you instantly into religious. By the way when i say religious i am talking about fanaticism here like wearing those rosaries and stuffs and memorizing all those prayers, i meant religious in a sense that you have an established relationship with our Creator and our Lord Jesus Christ. So there, eventhough you hate religious stuffs joining CLP is still for you and your partner. The teachings and the talks is always for the betterment of your relationship as husbands and wives. Afterall, you and your wife is in this for the long haul and i believe we need all the help we can get to maintain a loving atmosphere.
Also if you are not yet married officially by the Catholic Church, then worry not as I and my wife have yet to marry in the church. We are married civilly and it’s a good start but as long as our times and our pockets permits it then by all means we would love to officially marry in our tradition and infront of the Church and most importantly be married as God’s people. CLP is open for all couples, even if you have no religion or a recovering catholic or have a different religion, i encourage you to still join and listen, then afterwards I am sure they will not pressure you to convert to catholic. Just go your way and just treat the guys and your fellow CLP participants as friends, there is nothing wrong with meeting other people regardless of their faith for as long as they are not the Bad people which would obviously push you to do bad as well.
When i and my wife joined CLP it was in the last quarter of 2012, I would say it was really a struggle. Why? first because i was injured, like i am on crutches because a portiion of my Fibula shattered(it has healed now thankfully with God’s help and healing power). It was really a struggle going to the CLP venue, even when riding a taxi, it was a struggle getting in and out but I just prayed and maybe God really did help me with that one. I am not sure how i did not miss 1 single talk with me having all the excuses not to attend and skip. Secondly is at that time, my wife is still pregnant with glee. she’s like 7-8 months pregnant at that time. So she is really struggling too, like her belly is heavy and all those pregnancy woes that women are experiencing but that too did not deter her to skip even 1 session. With God’s guidance we finished the CLP and we graduated without absences save for the orientation. (Applause sound effects! kidding. ) Anyways, we all owe it to God, without him i am not sure how in the world will we finish the CLP and who knows my relationship to the creator now will even be existent. Joining CLP brought me and my wife to God’s embrace, although we are not really that prayerful with all those rosaries, and mealtime prayers but i can see there are changes. Now on major decisions i rely to God and ask if what i want to do is what he bids, if it not then i pray to not let it happen and instead give me the heart to follow what his will is. I am thinking it must be the same with my wife, we are not the most godly of all couples we have a share of our downs but CLP really brought as changes big time.
If someone invites you to join, don’t hesitate and respond positively, that is Jesus’ way of reaching out to you. Just do not ever let your ego get the best of you and thinking that you are already praying hard and you will not need any community because God is already providing you a lot and God must have loved you more than these guys. No. Never think that way, because God has already gave you a lot it’s time for you to offer your service to him as a sign of thanks. If you are serving God then that must make him happy too right? Life is not a one way street where God only provides for you and you do nothing in return, we’ll for some it may work but not for me and not in our family.