Category Archives: Reflections

The Wedding at Cana

The wedding at Cana

The Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-12) is one of my favorite mysteries of the Rosary. It seems to have endless depths to explore, and I am frequently startled by the realization of some new, previously hidden element.

I love to think about Mary’s concern for the bride and groom, and of her intercession on their behalf. As she interceded for them, I know that she will intercede for us.

I meditate on Jesus’ use of the word, “woman,” drawing our minds to the first woman, Eve, who brought sin into the world. Mary is called “the New Eve,” because she is the woman – the one in all of history – who never knew sin, who stepped on the head of the serpent as was foretold in Genesis, who, rather than trying to be like God, as the first Eve did, humbled herself before God, making herself his handmaid and saying “Let it be done unto me…”

Then there’s Mary’s confidence that Jesus will respond to her request, and her words, “Do whatever he tells you.” Simple, yet perfect. If only we each could follow this command.

There’s the fact that, with Mary’s gentle push, Christ chose a wedding as the place where his first public miracle should occur, thereby revealing the awesome importance of the sacrament of marriage.

Of course, there’s the miracle of turning water into wine. And not just any wine, but the very best, most splendid of wines.

Untitled design

I love to think on his order to fill the jars with water. If we are Christ’s servants, what is this “water” that we should be filling our jars with? On the one hand, surely it’s love of God, and love of neighbor. On the other hand, it’s the spiritual drink of life – the Holy Spirit. Those who drink of it will never thirst. And there’s the refilling of ourselves, as we pour ourselves out caring for others, and then must fill ourselves back up through prayer, scripture, and the sacraments.

Though seemingly insignificant, I love the words that follow Christ’s command. “They filled them to the brim.” If those jars are my offering to Christ, am I filling it to the brim? Am I giving him my everything, my all?

Ultimately, like the water that was transformed at Cana, whatever we offer to him – however ordinary – will become extraordinary.

May we hold nothing back.

 

 

 

 

My Rosary Love Affair – Part II

Okay, this is gonna be quick because I get to go to the Celebrate Life dinner tonight and I need to leave in 10 9 minutes.

I realized yesterday that calling this my Rosary “love affair” is probably not accurate, because the term “love affair” sounds like something torrid and fleeting. Obviously, this particular love affair is neither of those!

Instead, it’s long term, and firmly committed. Oh, there are days of my life where I manage to pray a full Rosary, and there have been seasons in the last seven years where I haven’t come anywhere near a daily Rosary. But I keep coming back to it, and I miss it in the days and seasons where I don’t pray it as much.

rosary-1244875-1598x1062Once, when Bear was an infant, I was very concerned about a surgery that he had scheduled the following morning. I went to our parish’s Blessed Sacrament chapel and prayed a Rosary. Once I was done, as I knew I would, I felt a calm reassurance.

But, honestly, that reassurance wasn’t rooted in a knowledge that the surgery would go well and Bear was going to be fine. Instead, it was nestled in the knowledge that, whatever happened, God would bring us through.

I’ve heard of many Rosary miracles. There were priests who prayed the Rosary daily whose home was unscathed after the Hiroshima bombing (I’ll double check that and add a link later!), there was a girl I heard of on the radio who was skyjumping and her parachute didn’t deploy. There happened to be a group of men in a nearby field who saw her falling. They immediately started praying the Rosary, and miraculously, she landed in trees or on some soft surface that left her with only minor cuts and bruises (I’ll see if I can find that one too!)

I heard a woman on the weather channel one time who was hiding with her husband in their basement shower during a tornado. She got her rosary beads out just as she felt the wind beginning to suck them out of the basement. She began praying and the force of the wind instantly let them both go. Their house was destroyed, but they were completely fine.

I’ve never experienced a miracle like any of those, but I don’t need one. I’m perfectly the-heart-of-jesus-1442437content with the changes I can recognize in myself, as my responses to the events of life become a little more Christ- and Mary-like as a result of spending so much time thinking about how they handled situations. I’m content with the peace I feel in the midst of turbulence.

I’m content with knowing that, one day, when I before Christ, he will say, “Yes, I know you,” and I will smile and say, “Oh, my Love, I know you too. Please welcome me in so I may know more.”

I’m sure this post is riddled with typos. Forgive me! But I’m off to celebrate some life!!

My Rosary Love Affair – Part I

The feast of Our Lady of the Rosary will be here in nine short days’ time. This feast has had recurring significance for me, so to do something special to mark the occasion I’ve decided to write a novena of blog posts. Over the next nine days, by the grace of God, I intend to write nine posts about the Rosary or Our Lady. I figure a good place to start is how the rosary has impacted my own life.

 

When I was a new Catholic, the Rosary seemed weird, repetitive, and overwhelming. But, I figured that, if I was going to be a Catholic, I was going to have to at least give it a shot. Thus, with the aid of a pamphlet that I had been given during RCIA, I tried praying it a few times, and was shocked to find that the prayer was nowhere near as difficult, time consuming, or boring as I’d expected .rosary-1244875-1598x1062

In fact, I actually rather enjoyed it.

I never really got into the habit of praying the Rosary, though, until a few years later. I was pregnant, in chronic pain, tired, my hormones were raging, my feelings were hurt, and I was angry. I knew that I had to face a situation with a family member, but I felt that the solution rested with her. She should admit how wrong and horrible she had been, and beg for my forgiveness.

One of the many beautiful things about the Rosary is that, whatever problems we’re facing, we can place those troubles in the hands of our Mother in Heaven, and say:

Here, Mom. Here’s what’s bothering me. Here’s what I think I need. I know that no amount of worrying about it will help. I know that no advice from an earthly friend will offer a magical solution. And I also know that, if my request is in keeping with God’s Will, you will take it and lay it at your son’s feet, adding your beautiful prayers to my own humble ones.

And then we can just leave our worries in her sweet hands – hands so much more capable than ours– and proceed to meditate, not on our own trials, tribulations, wants and needs (though inevitably those will creep into our meditation,) but instead on Christ, his great gift, his trials and tribulations, and those of his mother. As we meditate on these things, our problems are put into perspective, and we know that God will provide, as he always does.

IMG_0124.JPGThat day, feeling hurt, angry, and confused, I instinctively turned to the Rosary. When I finished praying, having meditated on Christ’s humility and mercy, I knew what I needed to do. I realized that, while my family member’s actions may not have been perfect, neither were my own. I needed to forgive her, and, moreover, I needed to swallow my pride, apologize, and seek her forgiveness.

It wasn’t easy, but my prayer had helped me to see my shortcomings, and encouraged me to follow Christ and his example.

With my Rosary love affair thus begun, I would begin to pray this beautiful prayer every day. Through this prayer, I would find healing, guidance, comfort, and so much more.

I’ll share more of the story of my love affair tomorrow.

The Seven Sorrows Devotion

Today, the Catholic Church celebrates the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. In recognizing this day, we remember and reflect upon the sufferings Mary endured because she was the mother of Christ. We unite our suffering with hers, and with Christ’s, and we recognize the value of her intercession, especially as she understands and empathizes with our own sorrows and sufferings.

The Seven Sorrows of Mary are:Our_Lady_of_Sorrows2

  1. The prophecy of Simeon
  2. The flight into Egypt
  3. Losing the child Jesus at the temple
  4. Meeting Jesus as he carried his cross
  5. The crucifixion
  6. The removal of the body of Jesus from the cross
  7. The burial of Jesus

By meditating upon these sorrows daily, the devout are given seven promises, among them a peaceful home and visible help at the moment of their death. Our Lady also promises to console them in their pains and accompany them in their work.

The Church has so many beautiful devotions, I find myself flowing from one to the other as seasons of my life change. While the Rosary remains the foundation for all my devotions, the Seven Sorrows devotion is one I find particularly beautiful and reasonably easy to work into my days. It takes only a few minutes, and yet gives me valuable time to reflect on Christ’s suffering and death, and the toll that those events must have taken on his mother. I reflect on her Godly response, and how I can respond to suffering in my own life in a manner more like hers. It reminds me to recognize the difficulties in my life as opportunities to unite myself more thoroughly to Christ, to truly take up my cross and follow him.

We are all broken, we are all sinners, and we all face trials and tragedies. There have been countless times when I have responded to those challenges in graceless ways, and there have been some – comparatively, a sad few – where I have responded with love, grace, hope, and even joy. Those times are the result of time spent meditating upon the Rosary and other devotions, such as the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady.

Whether you are facing trials today or not, I hope you will experience this devotion for yourself. As Christians, we are assured of joy, yet we are also most certainly assured of crosses. Without proper preparation, our hearts will not be able to experience the joys hidden in those crosses.

For more information about the Seven Sorrows Devotion, click here.

For a beautiful Bible study on the Seven Sorrows, by my friend, author Beth Leonard, click here.

**This post includes Amazon affiliate links. If you click on those links, and add anything to your cart, I will receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!**

Roses for Mary

Today is the Feast of the Nativity of Mary. As if they were keeping track of the calendar, my otherwise fallow rose bushes, which appear to have been planted twenty years ago and remained untended for the last ten, have produced two beautiful roses in celebration.

IMG_9986.JPGBonita’s religion teacher assigned a project over the weekend to give the Blessed Mother a birthday present of seven prayers, seven charitable acts, and seven acts of mortification. This probably would have been simple, had Bonita been thinking of it all weekend. But, alas, being her mother’s daughter (as in my daughter, not the Blessed Mother’s, in this case!), she put it off till five o’clock last night, at which point in time she began frantically searching for opportunities to fulfill the assignment. This made for quite a lovely evening for me, since she helped make dinner, set the table, and cleaned up afterwards.

IMG_9989.JPGWhile Bonita’s intentions may not have been the most pure and holy (completing an assignment, rather than seeking to please God through Mary), I think it was a very worthy exercise to get the children thinking along those lines of how we can show our love for God. It certainly has me thinking of things I can do to offer Our Lady small birthday gifts throughout the day – things such as going to Mass, spending extra time in prayer, performing acts of kindness such as holding a door or smiling when Bear spills juice all over my freshly mopped floor, and acts of mortification like foregoing that second third cup of coffee…

The possibilities are endless, really, and each one adds up to become a beautiful bouquet of roses, offered to Our Lady. In offering our thoughts, words, and deeds to her, she packages them more perfectly, more beautifully, more fragrantly than we ever could and delivers them at the feet of her son, a wonderful offering made out of love for her. We love her because she loves the Son. We honor her because she, above all created beings, honors the Son. We follow her because she will always lead us to the Son.

May her words become our words:

“I am the handmaid of the Lord,” and “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.”

In honoring her, may we more perfectly follow her directive:

“Do whatever he tells you to do.”

God is the Potter

The following is a re-post of a reflection originally published on my “old” blog, Martha’s Heart, on July 29, 2010.  Jer 18:1-6 was today’s Mass reading, as it was on the day of this original post.  It reminds me that God is the potter, and I am the clay, on a day when I was already praying to do better than I did yesterday, when stress and frustration had my head spinning and my voice raised toward the children.

Once again, I find myself praying that God will mold me into a vessel that is pleasing to Him.

Malleable

So often, I have moments in which I am clearly not the person God wants me to be.  This morning was a perfect example.  I was a grouch, largely because I used old coffee beans and my coffee tasted terrible.  Silly, yes, but true none-the-less.  It got my day off to a bad start and I was taking it out on my husband and kids.

It is moments like these that make Jer 18:1-6 so precious to me:

Whenever the object of clay which he was making
turned out badly in his hand,
he tried again,
making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased. (Jer 18:4)

God is the potter, and we are the clay.  He will not throw us away just because we are not the people He wants us to be.  Instead, he will try again, and again, and again.  The key is that we, the clay, must not harden ourselves against Him.  We must remain malleable, open to His word, His voice, His constant presence in our lives.

This morning, saying grace before breakfast reminded me that I could turn to God to help me improve my mood, so I asked Him to do just that.  As usual, prayer turned my day around.  It reminded me that I had to bend, rather than staying rigid.  It reminded me of my need for God’s grace and wisdom in my life.

Father, please help me to be the person you want me to be.  In moments when I begin to turn bad, please help me to remember that I must remain open to you, malleable in your all-capable hands.  Make me a vessel that is pleasing to you.

Potter's wheel
Potter’s Wheel, by Ravindra Prabhat, Image courtesy www.wikimedia.org

Jeremiah’s Dirty Loincloth and Christian Obedience

In Jeremiah 13, God told the prophet Jeremiah to go and buy himself a linen loincloth, wear it, but don’t wash it.  So Jeremiah did.

Click!
Michelangelo’s Jeremiah, from the Sistine Chapel, image courtesy Web Gallery of Art, www.wga.hu

Next, God told him to go to the Parath and bury the loincloth.  So Jeremiah did.

Finally, after some lengthy period of time, God told him to go retrieve the buried loincloth.  And so Jeremiah did.

Most of us would have responded to God’ first command with, “But, why?  Why do you want me to buy this loincloth?  Does it have to be linen?  I prefer silk.  And why can’t I wash it?  That’s gross.  How about if I wear it for a few days – I’ll even spring for three.  Then I’ll just put it in a bag, carefully sealed, so the stink doesn’t escape.”

To the second command, we might have responded, “The Parath is a long ways away.  I’ll go, but only if I have a horse and chariot to carry me there.  And food for the journey.  And a place to stay overnight, so I can be well rested.  As a matter of fact, isn’t it silly to go all that way, just to bury a piece of dirty cloth?  How about if I bury it in the desert, just outside the city, or – better yet – in my back yard?  Surely, that would work, Lord, right?  You don’t really want me to have to go all that way, I’m sure of it!”

And to the third, we’d likely have said, “Oh, come on!  Enough of this already!  I did what you wanted the first two times – or near enough.  Now you want me to go unearth the thing?  It’ll probably have bugs on it, it’ll be even dirtier than it was before, and I doubt I can even find it in the first place!  And if you want me to wear it afterward, you’d better believe I’m going to wash it first!”

God asks our obedience in all matters.  Obedience to God is never blind, but rather trusting, trusting that He will never lead us astray, but lead us to sanctification.  Even when we do not understand why we must do this thing or that thing, or not do this thing or that thing, we must trust that our obedience will never lead us away from God, but toward him.

In what matters do you find obedience difficult?  For many of us, it might be the Church’s teaching on contraception, marriage between a man and a woman, drunkenness, intimacy outside of marriage, divorce, or to attend Mass regularly and go to confession.

Or, perhaps, it’s obedience to that nudge of the Spirit to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, admonish the sinner, bear wrongs patiently, or to forgive willingly.

Obedience is never easy, nor is it meant to be.  It is through the trials of obedience that we draw closer to Christ, clinging to him as the Israelites failed to do in Jeremiah’s time, and as many (most?) of us fail to do in our time as well.

When Jeremiah unearthed the loincloth, he found that it had rotted.  The Lord spoke to him, saying, “So also I will allow the pride of Judah to rot… This wicked people who refuse to obey my words, who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts, and follow strange gods… shall be like this loincloth which is good for nothing.” (Jer. 13:9-10)

Does that sound to you like it could easily be an indictment of the people of our age?  In some matters, is it an indictment of you and of me?

The Lord also said to Jeremiah, “For, as close as the loincloth clings to a man’s loins, so had I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me… to be my people, my beauty.  But they did not listen.” (Jer. 13:11)

We were made to cling to God – to Christ.  We were made to be His people, His beauty.

May we listen.

 

This post was added to July’s Catholic Blogger Blitz.  For more great Catholic blogs, click the link below!

2014 Catholic Bloggers Link-Up Blitz

 

 

 

Christ’s Thirst for the Love of Souls

After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.”  – John 19:28

When we read these words, we tend to assume that Jesus’ thirst was a bodily thirst.  After all, the man had suffered terrible torture, carried a heavy burden for some distance, and hung suspended on a cross in the midday sun for several hours.  Yet, what among Christ’s life would really lead us to believe that a reference to a bodily need would be among His final words?

Indeed, Our Lord’s cry was not for wine or for water, but for the love of souls.  In crying out His thirst, He was pleading with us – with you, and with me – to know in our hearts how very much He loves us, and begging us to return that love to Him.

A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. -John 19:29

When they heard his cry, the soldiers cruelly gave him sour wine.  Yet, are you and I any better?  How much time do we spend soaking in His love for us?  How much time and effort do we spend, actively returning that love?  Do we feel it in our bones, so that the mere thought of Him brings us to our knees?

No.  Instead of giving him our very best, the finest wine from our tables, we give him our sour left overs.  We spend time in prayer… when we can.  We give to the poor… when we have a little extra money.  We offer help to one who’s struggling… when we’re not in a rush to be somewhere else.

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. -John 19:30

And yet, Christ knew our inadequacies.  He didn’t argue with those soldiers, “No, no, I said I’m thirsty!  That sour wine isn’t going to help at all!”  He “received the sour wine,” spoke His final words, “It is finished,

and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

He knows we are sinners, and yet he loves us.  He knows that we will offer him our leftovers, and yet he loves us.  He knows that a tragic few will strive for perfection, and yet he loves us.

Loves us so much that he died on the cross for us.  Loves us so much that his cry continues, I thirst!

He accepted the sour wine – our sour wine – knowing that it was the very reason why he had to offer Himself up.

And still he thirsts.

Cristo crucificado
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Reflection inspired by the book,  33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat In Preparation for Marian Consecration, by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC (affiliate link, thanks for your support!)

Seven Quick Takes… with SUBSTANCE!

It’s been an introspective week for me, so I’m going to do something I haven’t done in a few weeks: offer a little SUBSTANCE in my quick takes!

— 1 —

First, though, I have to share a special moment of happiness with you.  As I was sitting here, waiting (somewhat) patiently for my very slow computer to process, I watched two salesmen approach my front door.  And then I watched them walk away.  Pure joy.  Created by a simple “no soliciting” sign.

— 2 —

The other day, an acquaintance accidentally told me something about another acquaintance which I had been blissfully unaware of, but which is apparently common knowledge.  If I were saintly and immune to the pull of gossip, I might have said, “Wow, that’s awful.  Please don’t tell me anything more.  I’ll pray for them.”  However, being human – and me – I said, “Well, you might as well tell me because I could just Google it anyways.”  And I learned information that no one really needs to know about another person.  Terrible, awful, horrid information.  Leave you feeling sick for the rest of the day information.  As I prayed the Rosary that night, and the nasty information intruded upon my meditation, I was reminded of a thought I often have when considering the crown of thorns.  The hands that wove that crown must have been as badly battered by the thorns as was the head upon which it was placed.  Perhaps even more so.  And that’s what gossip does to us.  Not only does the thorny crown of gossip injure the person of whom we speak, it also injures the person who weaves it in the first place.

— 3 —

Lots of thoughts have come out of my Rosaries this week, and here’s another one.  While we know that the news of Christ’s conception is among the most joyous in all of history (second only to the Resurrection), the moment that Mary heard those words, she is sure to have experienced a wide array of emotions.  She was faced with the possibility of being an unwed mother, in a world that believed such a woman should be stoned to death.  Certainly, while she must have felt great joy at the news, she must also have experienced fear, worry, embarrassment, and more.  For, while she was conceived without sin, and remained sinless, she was, nonetheless, human, and those are innately human emotions.  So, what did Mary do in this time of what many would have called “trouble”?  Well, first, obviously, she gave herself over completely to God… “I am the handmaid of the Lord.”  and then, instead of wallowing in fear and worry like most of us would do, she walked four days to go to her cousin Elizabeth, spread the joy of Christ’s coming (and John’s too!) and serve her elderly cousin.  Indeed, one might say that when life gave Mary lemons (ok, we know it wasn’t lemons, but bear with me here), Mary didn’t just make lemonade.  She made lemonade, and walked for miles upon miles to bring lemonade to a person in need.  And so should we.

— 4 —

This afternoon found me throwing the ball with Dude, and wondering: how on earth does a woman who has a rampant fear of flying spherical objects wind up with a mitt on one hand and a ball smacking into it, as her son coaches her on throwing techniques and catching angles?  But that’s what we moms do, isn’t it?  We overcome fears, embarrassments, and insecurities to do what makes our kids happy.  And we discover that maybe, just maybe, we can have a little fun in the process.

— 5 —

I received a new book this week that I’m pretty thrilled with.  Easter Bunny’s Amazing Day tells the story of how a scared little bunny became the Easter Bunny through an encounter in a cave with a very special man.  What a fantastic way to finally make some Christian sense of an otherwise non-sensical character, and remind our children of the real reason for Easter.  I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the little hopper, and this book has tipped the scales much more heavily towards love.
(This is an affiliate link.  Thanks for your support!)

— 6 —

I’ve gotten out of the habit of praying Evening Prayer lately, but last night felt strongly led to do so.  I knew immediately that the Spirit was at work.  The Psalm was Psalm 16 and the words “You are my God.  My happiness lies in you alone” resonated strongly with me.  No human can give us happiness.  And no human can make us unhappy.  If our trust, love and hope lie in God; if our very beings are centered entirely around Him, than we can have happiness, no matter the trials we may be facing in the world.

“The lot marked out for me is my delight”…  We all have crosses to bear, but we are meant to find joy in their weight, knowing that we become more like Christ in doing so.

“And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad; even my body shall rest in safety.  For you will not leave my soul among the dead, nor let your beloved know decay.”

— 7 —

Finally, when I meditate on Christ Carrying the Cross, and I think of Simon the Cyrene, I often think of how I can be a “Simon” to others, and help a friend or neighbor to bear their cross.  This week, it struck me that I have a few of my own Simons, and I am eternally grateful to them.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Surrender for My Valentine

Surrender and Valentine’s Day?,  some might ask, incredulously.  Seriously?

Well, surrender is a funny thing.

Were I to surrender myself to the wrong thing, say sexuality, or drugs or alcohol, or the false gods of materialism and wealth, it would consume me totally. Ultimately, it would change the person I am, change my goals, change my loves, change my relationships.  It would become difficult for me to maintain relationships on more than a superficial level.

In some ways, I suppose, surrender to God is similar.  Surrender to the Lord changes me.  It changes the person I am, changes my goals, my loves, and my relationships.  Yet, our surrender to the Lord will never consume us, not in the “All used up and good for nothing else way.”  It’s an amazing thing.  Rather than being consumed – used up –  we are given more.

In fact, it is only through our total giving of ourselves to the Lord that we can totally selflessly give to others.

I’ve witnessed this first hand in these past few weeks, as my husband has grieved the tragic loss of his best friend.  I knew he needed time to grieve.  I knew that, in his grief, he needed loving arms to come home to, and caring ears to listen.  He needed the security of knowing that I was there, no matter what.

For the first few days, I was completely immersed in prayer, knowing that I could not possibly give him everything he needed without much needed support.  And, for those first few days, I must say, I was pretty spot-on.

But then I began to slip a bit.  Quite frankly, that whole self-donation thing isn’t easy, especially when the person that you’re giving, and giving, and giving to is in no shape to give anything back.  And my husband wasn’t.  In that first week, all he could do was take, and take some more, and then a bit more.  And that got hard.

We had received the news Saturday afternoon, and already, by the time I was in adoration early Tuesday, I was begging Jesus to help me overcome the anger and resentment that I was beginning to feel.  I was disappointed in myself, but I knew that I never could have gotten through the previous three days without clinging to Christ, and that I would never get through the days and weeks to come without continuing to do so, humbly aware of my own inadequacies.

And that’s when it hit me: Surrender.  I had already taken it for my “One Word 2014” two weeks prior.  At the time, I didn’t know how soon it would come into play in my life, or that my surrender would be so important to others around me.

That morning in adoration, I realized that, only by my total surrender to Christ, could I give my husband the support he needed.  Only by giving myself utterly and totally – every shred, every desire, every need- over to Christ, could I allow Him to use me as His servant in support of His precious son, Ray.  Only then could I be the hands and feet of Christ – His loving arms, His caring words, His supportive presence.

Our God is pretty awesome, isn’t He?  He’s a jealous God (Ex 34:14; Deut 6:15; et al), yet His jealousy is not like that of humans.  He doesn’t attempt to keep us for Himself, like a jealous husband or boyfriend.  Instead,  when we give ourselves to Him, He essentially multiplies us, making us more for others, and giving us back to those around us in a fullness that we can never achieve on our own.

Love and marriage are all about self-donation.  And self-donation is hard.  But we can do it, when we are surrendered to Christ.

Last Saint Valentine’s Day, I was Meek but not Milquetoast.   This Saint Valentine’s Day, I’m Surrendering to the Lord.  Perhaps not the box of chocolates or lacy lingerie that my Valentine had in mind, but I think it will serve us well in the end.

And maybe I’ll throw in some chocolate and lace just to keep him happy tomorrow as well. 🙂

Belgium Chocolates