Earthly Dearest. Not Mommie Dearest. Although I may seem to be like Joan Crawford in some ways!
When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do nowC.S. Lewis
I think there is a ring of truth here. If I can love God more, be open to His graces, then I will love others more. My husband. My kids. Others.
The grace of the sacrament of marriage helps us, helps spouses, to attain holiness in their married life and in welcoming and educating their children. ( Catechism of the Catholic Church 1641)
I asked a priest once, awhile ago now, how it was that one should co-operate with the grace of this sacrament of marriage. Of how one should be open to these graces. Daily.
This priest admitted that this is a hard one, that daily co-operation with God's will, making rational choices.
And, I thought, what role does love play in this? Is love an emotion? Or a choice?
I didn't expect an answer from that priest, then, at that very moment. Our lives and our experiences of grace are not like that are they...not like two minute noodles, where we open the packet , add boiling water and microwave. And have a finished product.
We might be open to grace and add prayer and the sacraments but there are no instant actions or answers and really no finished products. We work on stuff, on ourselves, all the time. With the gift of salvation and the gift of faith
Although faith does also require a response. Our response.
A response to go to Christ, to His Church, with frequent reception of the sacraments of the Eucharist and of Reconciliation. For Christ is the source of grace.
Christ dwells with us and this indwelling, I guess, becomes the means of that daily co-operation with the graces of the sacrament of matrimony. So that , as Christ dwells with us, he helps us, helps us to take up our crosses, to follow Him, to pick ourselves up each time we fall and to keep on following, to forgive one another and to share burdens.(see CCC 1642).
It is the forgiving that can sometimes be hard. Or maybe it is the forgetting that may be hard.
It is easier, too, I find, to work on forgiving an other than it is to forgive oneself.
But that may be my Mommie Dearest experience bearing fruit. (SCRUB, Christina, SCRUB.)
Husbands and wives should live peacefully in their union of marriage; they should be mutually edifying to each other, pray for one another, bear patiently with one another’s faults, encourage virtue in one another by good example, and follow the holy and sacred rules of their state, remembering that they are the children of the saints and that, consequently, they ought not to behave like pagans, who have not the happiness of knowing the one true God. St John Vianney