Friday, August 17, 2012

Love, Patience and Sacrifice

My parents in 1988, after 40 years of marriage

Jesus speaks about the sanctity of marriage today in the gospel readings of the day, and in honor of my parents, I share this reflection today, since I saw in their relationship the values of love, patience and sacrifice at their very best. Throughout 54 years together, me and my siblings witnessed the expression of dedication and unconditional love they shared for each other and for us all. Unfortunately, as is usually the case, these values are deeply appreciated later on in life. They never did anything apart from each other, and so they sacrificed, they suffered and toiled ceaselessly to see their family happy and content, sometimes with the minimum, because as I learned in my life, it’s not what you have that counts but what you do with what God gives you.
My parents on their wedding day, July 24, 1948
Back in the 1990s, I led Pre-Cana classes for couples in my parishes in New York, and at the end of each session, I would ask the couples to give me one phrase that would define marriage in their eyes. These are some of the comments I collected over the years from them:
Marriage is a.....partnership, a commitment, an outrageous vocation as much as a vacation, a life-long friendship, a bond, togetherness, affirmation, a gift to be cherished, devotion, an adventure, a journey, eternal, a sacrifice, strength to be together as one, exciting and scary, a roller coaster, mutual, reciprocal, a union, in tune with each other, giving and taking, emotional, security, a dialogue, a pledge, passion, magic, a sacrament, a compromise, equal opportunities, a decision, and! Lots of work.

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