Dear Reader, in the worry that I had been sharing more of my personal life than I had cared to reveal, I sadly deleted this post and the many insightful comments it inspired. However, after a prayerful weekend, I thought better of it and re-posted this thought with as many of the comments as I could salvage. I know that Gabriella had left a wonderful comment about how my husband and I are both serving the Lord in the best way we know how, but sadly, that comment, and some others are lost. Please accept my apologies for my fickleness and know that I have carefully thought about and prayed over all of your words.
That's a question my husband asks me frequently. My answer is always the same: "I can never get enough!" I feel pained that Paul doesn't feel the strong and urgent need that I do to attend daily Mass and sometimes, twice on Sunday, depending on how my children and I are scheduled for singing, lectoring and serving. In addition, I like to go to adoration at least once a week, confession every other week and I run out to hear every speaker and program about church matters as often as I can. In other words, I spend nearly every bit of spare time that I have at church or in church related activities. Then, when I'm at home, I'm writing and reading blogs and spiritual books as well as praying with my family.
I had an aunt who was very devoted to the faith, and one of my sisters likes to tease me and tell me that I am just like her. It's actually a compliment, except that my poor aunt was often frowned upon and looked at as if she were an eccentric because she would carry her faith to extremes and push it upon others who weren't as deeply in love with Jesus as she was.
I do feel sorry for Paul. It's hard to love a woman who is deeply in love with someone else, and the competition that Jesus puts Paul up against is really impossible to compare with. My deepest prayer is that Paul will one day fall head over heels in love with the Lord as well, and be drawn beyond the basics of Sunday Mass and a few daily prayers because he is a fabulous husband and father, and I would love nothing better than to share my love affair with the Lord with him on a deeper level.
Paul works hard each day, from sunup to sundown, to provide for the needs of our family. He almost always has a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. He has a youthful spirit and enjoys playing sports and games with our children. He cooks dinner for our family nearly every night, and then sits at the kitchen table helping the little ones with their homework. He runs the boys to endless basketball practices and games and chauffeurs our children and their friends home from school every day. He is a non-stop devoted and loving husband and father and I am tremendously blessed by him. On April 27th, we will be celebrating our 19th wedding anniversary and these past nineteen years have been wonderful in so many ways, but I do think he would have preferred that I had stayed home a bit more often and played with the children, watched movies with the family and just spent quiet time talking with him. Maybe, instead of pitying him, I should be envying him, because he seems to have the true meaning of living the vocation to family life well in hand, whereas my fickle heart keeps me running back and forth, forever undecided about how best to live my life.
Is there such a thing as being too religious and overdoing it in the spiritual realm? Am I driving him away, I often wonder? Would I be loving Jesus more by loving His presence within my husband and children in our everyday activities instead of adoring Him in adoration? As I reflect upon the words in today's Gospel from John- "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent."(John 6:29) I wonder if the work of God could be more fruitful in my life if I would simply follow the advice of St. Francis de Sales and live my calling to be a devoted wife and mother as I draw God into my home life more and more, instead of frequently leaving home to find God in the world around me.
Dearest Jesus, Mary and Joseph, guide my family in your ways so that we, too, can be a holy family, devoted to God in our daily lives and constantly aware of His presence within and around us in all circumstances. Let a childlike belief in Jesus be all we need to hold us together in our service to you. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you, save souls. Amen.