It all began on an average day at work. Morning schedule and then mass. I am blessed to work at a place where mass is available to the employees daily. Today was different though. In the back of the chapel was a young man I had never seen before praying. At first I thought he might be a visitor, or intern, but as the days went past, that young man remained.
I eventually found out through my boss that he was a new employee in one of the departments, and was casually introduced to him. Still, as the days went by our paths never crossed. Little did I know that God was also working on this awesome Catholic guy, and placing on his heart the desire to get to know me as well. Finally one day he asked me to help him with a work project, and our friendship began from that day on. We had our ups and downs, hilarious stories that occur when outgoing-country-girl meets an artsy-deep-thinker.
How was I to know that the shy, handsome guy that sat in the back of the chapel was to be my future husband? Normal people don’t go to mass and say, “Oh I am going to marry him someday” Never-the-less that handsome guy is indeed my husband. God had my perfect romance all mapped out for me, all I had to do was let him lead. As hard as we try to control things, nothing will be as beautiful and amazing as the plan he has for us.
The two of us embarked on our journey of life together in the midst of challenging days for our country. Trying to grown in virtue and begin our family in such a hostile environment to Christians is honestly a bit intimidating. We are given strength in the knowledge that Christ has been the center of our lives so far, and he will not abandon us.
We have so much to be thankful for as Catholics, our faith communities, and the Sacraments to give us strength to follow Christ. We beg for your prayers as we strive to be good examples of Christian marriage.
Our awesome Holy Father has such beautiful words of wisdom for us. This comes from a homily given by Pope Benedict at the 2011 World Youth Day in Madrid (emphasis added). The context is a reflection on vocations:
I urge you to ask God to help you find your vocation in society and in the Church, and to persevere in that vocation with joy and fidelity. It is a good thing to open our hearts to Christ’s call and to follow with courage and generosity the path he maps out for us.
“The Lord calls many people to marriage, in which a man and a woman, in becoming one flesh (cf. Gen 2:24), find fulfillment in a profound life of communion. It is a prospect that is both bright and demanding. It is a project for true love which is daily renewed and deepened by sharing joys and sorrows, one marked by complete self-giving. For this reason, to acknowledge the beauty and goodness of marriage is to realize that only a setting of fidelity and indissolubility, along with openness to God’s gift of life, is adequate to the grandeur and dignity of marital love.”
And again from Pope Benedict, his Homily at the Holy Mass for the Opening of the Synod of Bishops (Oct. 7, 2012), emphasis added:
The theme of marriage, found in the Gospel and the first reading, deserves special attention. The message of the word of God may be summed up in the expression found in the Book of Genesis and taken up by Jesus himself: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Gen 2:24; Mk 10:7-8). What does this word say to us today? It seems to me that it invites us to be more aware of a reality, already well-known but not fully appreciated: that matrimony is a Gospel in itself, a Good News for the world of today, especially the dechristianized world. The union of a man and a woman, their becoming “one flesh” in charity, in fruitful and indissoluble love, is a sign that speaks of God with a force and an eloquence which in our days has become greater because unfortunately, for various reasons, marriage, in precisely the oldest regions evangelized, is going through a profound crisis. And it is not by chance. Marriage is linked to faith, but not in a general way. Marriage, as a union of faithful and indissoluble love, is based upon the grace that comes from the triune God, who in Christ loved us with a faithful love, even to the Cross. Today we ought to grasp the full truth of this statement, in contrast to the painful reality of many marriages which, unhappily, end badly. There is a clear link between the crisis in faith and the crisis in marriage. And, as the Church has said and witnessed for a long time now, marriage is called to be not only an object but a subject of the new evangelization.