Okay, before I start, I already know what the women who are reading this blog are saying, “I hope he got permission to post that picture!” Well, no, I did not. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let me continue.
Today is the 9th anniversary of St. Julie’s heart attack. She experienced a miraculous healing, a day and a half after her heart-cath study revealed that she was suffering from a severing in the artery that brings blood back to the heart. Those of you who know her know why I consider her to be a “living” saint. It should also be of no surprise that Joan of Arc is her patron saint – go figure. However, I would like to address this post to all married couples, especially the men, who are experiencing difficulties in their marriage.
Whatever problems you are going through, right now, in your marriage – IT AIN’T THAT BAD! Every time I give in to my desires to be a “you know what,” God reminds me of the image of Julie lying in that hospital bed all wired up, and I tend to snap back to reality pretty quick. After the cardiologist told me that I had a 10% chance of taking her home alive, I immediately called a friend who had recently lost his wife to cancer. I said, “Mark, I have not been there, but it appears that I am pretty close. How do I deal with this situation?” There was a moment of silence on the phone, and as he begun to speak, I could hear the cracking of his voice. Mark said, “Greg, you can never prepare for something like this, and all I know is that I would gladly take Sherri back today on the worst day of our marriage than to not have her at all.” Whew, those words still bring a chill to my body.
As I sit here, I was trying to come up with something profound to say, but then I got an alert on my phone that directed me to a post by Fr. Z, and his words to married couples were perfect, so I shall share them here:
“First, please know that we priests understand that you face problems every day that might make a lot of us priests curl up in a ball in a dark room. However, you have the vocation to face those problems as married Catholics. Just as we priests must call upon the graces that come from Holy Orders when we are in the thick of it, so to must you call upon the graces that come from matrimony and confirmation. You have difficulties. These difficulties are your road to heaven. Remember always that your primary calling as married Catholics is to help your spouses get to heaven. Hence, you must chose daily to embrace the life of your spouse with charity, the sacrificial love which seeks, first, the true good of the other. This is what Christ modeled for his Spouse the Church while enduring His Passion and death. Embrace the pains and make the choice for sacrificial love. To love is to choose. Choose to love. You can choose love even when feelings or appetites or temptations push and pull.
Choose, as a couple, to love God more than you love each other. Only when God is the true king of your two hearts, can your one married heart beat properly. Only when you love God first, can you love and treat each other and your children properly.”
Need I say more?