Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Life with Angela

Dear friends,
It has now been two months (a little over) since my marriage to Angela. It has gone from being the Summer, and getting married in late August in upstate New York, to a cold, damp city called Philadelphia, where I work full time, and she works full time. She has almost a 2 hour commute in the morning (she is on the train for most of it), and I work in an office, in a job that can be challenging, to say the least. She also has her challanges at work.

Despite our difficulties with everything, and there aren't a lot of challenges on the grand scheme of things, my favorite moment of the day is when I pick Angie up from the train station. I still remember my day, whether it was a good or bad day, but I usually stop caring once I see her every evening. I love eating dinner with her, and I love cleaning the dishes for her after dinner.

A vocation is a calling. Angela and I's vocations are each other in Holy Matrimony. It is through our love that we sanctify each other and call each other to a greater depth of holiness. It is in this Holy Sacrament between a man and woman that we are called, to be temples of the Holy Spirit, and together, to glorify God in our actions. Being heavily influenced by Theology of the Body by Pope John Paul II, we are called to be a communion of persons, with the love between us having the criteria of being both unitive and procreative. We are open to life, and at the same time, we are open to our actions sancitifying us. It is in the marital act that a married couple celebrates in an intimate way the Sacrament of Matrimony and experiences the love of Christ on the Cross at His Crucifixion. A spouse lays down his life for the other. If a couple is truly open to the grace of the sacrament, they are open to sacrifice, suffering, and kenosis, a self emptying for the sake of the other.

Like John the Baptist said in the Gospel: "He must increase, I must decrease", so a spouse says, "I must decrease, the other must increase". To add an even deeper theological concept, the spouse must say "I must decrease, my spouse and Christ must increase." We are called to exult our spouse, and we are called to exult Christ. We exult Christ, together with our spouse, in a profound way in the marital act. The Eucharist is the link between this world and the next; the marital act, for married couples, can also be considered a link between this world and the next. This isn't saying that every act of marital intercourse is supposed to be heavenly by the pleasure it gives, but by the act itself, married couples experience the consolation of heaven, even if they don't recognize it.

May you remain close to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May God bless you.

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