Infertility is not merely a cross. It is an opportunity to witness to the deeper reality that we as married couples do not get to decide how our marriage is lived out. It is a witness to a motherhood and fatherhood that is lived spiritually rather than physically. It is a witness to the fact that fruitfulness is not limited to procreation. Infertility, understood in this way, is a charism. It is a call to live out fruitfulness even in the midst of barrenness.
"You have granted me life and living kindness; and Your care has preserved my spirit." Job 10:12 A few months before our wedding, Nicholas and I sat down and wrote a mission statement for our marriage. We sat down at Ritter's Ice Cream and created a vision for our family and marriage. It remains a … Continue reading Gratitude: The Gift Amidst the Cross
I am tempted to look at the Lord as Peter did and say, "Master, we have worked hard all night and caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets" (Luke 5:5). I am tempted to look at Christ and seeing the strong wind surrounding me exclaim, "Lord, save me!" And yet, our Lord turns to us, "[stretches] out his hand and [catches us], and [says] to us, 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'" (Matthew 14:31)
In letting Mary untie my heart, I give her all of these dreams and worries. I give Jesus, through His Mother, my whole self, my whole identity. And I trust, that through her intercession, that the knots that so deeply bind my heart, the knots that cause me my deepest worries and anxieties, the knots that prevent my heart from loving, will be undone.
We veil the sacred. We veil the tabernacle, we veil the Blessed Mother, we veil brides on their wedding day, and girls on the day of their first communion. The Blessed Mother and the tabernacle are veiled because they are the vessels that receive life and carry life to others. Through veiling, a woman recognizes her unique call to receive life through Christ and call others into life out of darkness. Christopher West, in “The Love that Satisfies” writes that “behind every false god, we find our desire for the One True God gone astray.” Pornography becomes a false god in which our desire for human love is twisted in on itself to serve ourselves rather than others. Veiling seeks to correct that self-serving love and direct it towards the Divine Love of Jesus on the Cross.
To love is to allow Christ to first love us. How can we give what we do not have? And so we are totally dependent on Christ— Author of Life, Source of Love, Fountain of Mercy—to love others. Christ pours out His Love for us at the Cross. His Love pours forth as Blood and Water from His Heart as a fountain of Mercy for us, but we must come to the Cross to receive His Love. The Cross is not easy, and we are continually journeying towards the foot of the Cross with Christ.
For the past two years, there has been one label that has absolutely terrified me. It is something about me that while objectively true, I didn't want to admit to myself. I didn't want to identify myself with this label, because the label would make my pain too real. So long as I was able to avoid consciously identifying myself with this label, I could pass my pain off as a distant dream.