This morning my wife woke me up at 4am to take our dog out. Sad to say that is nothing out of the usual, but something unusual happened while i was outside. The wind was briskly blowing and the silence was all around me. There while my dog was doing her thing i started to think about marriage. I started to think about how what i was doing right now, as ordinary as it is, as unspectacular as it is, was a real, concrete way to not only show love for my wife but to receive grace while doing so.
Time passed and my dog was growing impatient with me just staring into space thinking about these things so we went back in. Back in bed i felt an uneasiness, I could not stop thinking about Grace and Marriage and all i do(or do not do) to love my wife. Then something came over me. I was praying while trying to drift back into sleep and i began to meditate on The Theology of the Body, particularly the Conjugal act as a renewal of the marriage covenant. I was swept into a beautiful dreamlike state. I was aware of my surroundings but also completely immersed in this prayer. I allowed my brain and my heart to follow the promptings of the Spirit while i prayed and i was lead to an awesome realization. I turned to my wife, who had since fallen asleep again and woke her. Fortunately, she is used to me waking her at crazy hours to speak to her of things like this. I began, with true love in my words to relate to her the desire that has been in my heart since our engagement but that was just strengthened in prayer. i said to her "Crystal, I no longer want to have sex with you. I want, i long with all my heart, each and every time we come together to be not some impersonal motions that we go through. I do not want to be motivated to touch you out of lust or a desire to receive pleasure. I do not want to enter into the marital act just because it's something to do. I don't want to disrespect you anymore than i desire to disrespect our Lord. You know better than anyone how i preach the connection between the Eucharist and Marriage, but God is removing more of the scales from my eyes "
At this point i had her interested. I really wanted to relate to her how deeply i felt about respecting her and respecting the conjugal act itself. I have been a student of the Theology of the Body for sometime and a student of the church's beautiful teaching on marriage and human sexuality for some time longer but this morning God gave me the grace to understand more deeply the truths about the teachings i am so passionate about.
I continued, "Crystal, I want each time we enter into the mysteries of our union as man and wife to be a spiritual connection as well as physical. I want to love you on a deeper level, i want to hold you beyond our bodies. To unite with you on a level where there can be no obstacles to a truly marital union. To become one flesh, each and every time, not just in thought but actually to experience the intimacy of completely giving all of ourselves to the other. To look deep into your eyes and to experience the depths of your love for me. To receive your gift of self with gratitude and awe and to give you myself in humility and devotion. I want more than anything for our union to be inspired by the Holy Spirit and sustained by His Grace. I want us to realize that when we unite with each other in love and truth we are uniting with God, who is the source of love and truth. "
By this point i had tears in my eyes, i truly felt this with all my heart. The words of the teachings had become flesh , my heart was opened and i took another step of conversion toward God. We must constantly be converting our hearts to God. Conversion is never over. We feel this longing to change to become better persons, how are we to accomplish this if not by the grace of God? Crystal smiled at me and agreed. then she held me tight and kissed me. Now you might be wondering why i am sharing this personal moment with all of you. Well, i wasn't sure until now. The only way the culture of death can be stopped is through a renewal of Catholic family values.
Husbands must love their wives as Christ loved the Church. We as husbands must regain control of the lives of those we are responsible for. We are the spiritual leaders of our families, God has put those whom we love under our care. We are protector, priest, lover, father, husband, spiritual guide, head; the family should look to us as the one through whom God makes known his will. We are to be above all else SERVANT. No exceptions. we are to serve our wives, our children and anyone else we are responsible for. We cannot show our wives how truly we love them if we are not willing to serve them. By service we love, with love we serve. This must be the rule for Catholic Fathers and husbands. By no other means can we expect to grow in the love of God.
I'll continue this blog at a more suitable hour. But I'll end with these words from John Paul II:
"No sacrifice is too great for true lovers to bear.This is the testimony of the cross! This is also the love which husband and wife are called to participate in."