Monday, June 6, 2011
Forty Years of Love
The sky was as blue as can be without a single cloud, the air was warm and pleasant, filled with the fragrance of flowers; birds were singing, children were playing, and lawnmowers were buzzing. It was a perfect summer day, made even more perfect by the beautiful backyard celebration that occurred in the midst of the typical summer activities.
Diann and Gary, my sister and brother-in-law, celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on June 5th, which also happened to have been my deceased parent's wedding anniversary. To celebrate this beautiful event, my niece Jenny, their daughter, invited our entire large family of nine siblings and all of the children and grandchildren to attend a Mass and party in her backyard. Everyone brought flowers and the scenic backyard surrounded by a picket fence under the shade of a large oak tree was simply idyllic. It was a joyous event that brought all of my siblings together for the first time in five years!
The Mass was celebrated by our beloved friend, Fr. Jim Kubicki, SJ, the national director of the Apostleship of Prayer. Fr. Jim spoke of the gift of marriage as an image of God's love for each of us. He said there are times when the love that spouses share for one another is physical, but more often, that love is something that is felt and known deep in the heart, so that no matter whether or not a husband and wife are physically present with each other or are far apart, the bond of love is never distant, it remains deep within, just as Jesus remains deep within our hearts and souls through the gift of Eucharist. After the Ascension of His physical body, Jesus disappeared into the heavens yet He remains forever united with us, each and every one of us, always present within.
Fr. Jim also brought a beautiful prayer for Diann and Gary to pray together and shared copies with everyone else present...
Prayer of Spouses for Each Other
Lord Jesus, grant that I and my spouse may have a true and understanding love for each other. Grant that we may both be filled with faith and trust. Give us the grace to live with each other in peace and harmony. May we always bear with one another's weaknesses and grow from each other's strengths. Help us to forgive one another's failings and grant us patience, kindness, cheerfulness and the spirit of placing the well-being of one another ahead of self. May the love that brought us together grow and mature with each passing year. Bring us ever closer to You through our love for each other. Let our love grow to perfection. Amen.