One Heart in Marriage

When my husband and I got married we made a banner for the altar.

It said, “The Two Shall Become One.”

” For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Mark 10:7-8

We also had a wedding ring quilt, not yet sewn together, hanging on either side of the altar.  After the wedding, the halves were joined, our rings forever interlocked.

And so it was that we spoke the vows and God united us in an indissoluble bond forever. Like Adam we rejoiced,

” Finally bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh!”

More than twenty years later, we began to study the Theology of the Body, a teaching written by Blessed John Paul II on the meaning of being human in a body, our creation as male and female,  and our call to love as God loves.  By allowing the message of the Theology of the Body into our hearts, our marriage has become richer in every way.  We understand that we are witnesses to Christ’s love for the Church, to the cross and the resurrection.   We give ourselves to each other in love as He gave His Body  in the perfect act of love on the cross of wood, a tree.

.twintree 1                                                           twintree 2

Tom seemed to capture this wedding oneness in a gift he recently gave, that interestingly enough, also involved a tree. Our front yard is covered with trees that have grown together.  In fact we have named the house “Twin Trees”.  Having to cut one down, my husband marveled at its unique shape, and decided to make a gift.  The trunk was sliced and for each of our five children, he carved in their name. Now they have a heart-shaped part of that tree, of our home, and of him.

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  And for me, the one to whom Tom’s heart is forever one, he halved that wood and engraved our names on each half. One heart in marriage, one heart in Christ.

Christ’s flesh was torn apart on the wood of a tree.

His heart was torn in two so that our bodies could be united to His.

What amazing love!

    That we could be reconciled…and all that was broken could be for atonement….”at -one -ment”.

The Father now sees Christ crucified, and forgives us. In continued gift He never leaves us for now in each Holy Communion at Mass, we become one body.  And the Father looks as me and as if  exclaiming at a wedding says, “Finally, bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh!”  He rejoices in the son or the daughter who is united to Him.

Tom and I are now we are co-creating with Him, a family tree.  A family tree that needs redeeming. Because the love of the Trinity has been poured out in Christ’s Body and His Blood,  we continue in hope of that redemption.

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have become near by the blood of Christ.For he is our peace, he who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his flesh, abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims,

that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two,

thus establishing peace,

and might reconcile both with God, in one body, through the cross, putting that enmity to death by it.” Ephesians 2:13-16

I will cling to this Tree of Life, Jesus, as I love those in my growing family tree .  I will cling to this Sacred Heart that broke for my salvation, and to His sacrifice in love that makes me one with Almighty God.

“Changed in Adoration”

It’s that Original Fall that keeps me coming.

So this particular morning, I find myself falling down in adoration at the small chapel where I live.

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Locked now in His Love Gaze

Imprisoned here in Light

Naked, hungry, withered

With soul as dark as night

Hope still here in flicker

Faith a gift received

Floods the soul in Love-Light

In trust I have believed

Chase the shifting shadows

Covering mind and heart

Change me now, forever

Unite where once apart

Come near me now, Sweet Jesus

And heal this broken place

Strength for the paths to heaven

Where I’ll see You face to face.

At His Feet

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Opportunities abound today to fall at His feet.

I have been pressed into service on the floor of my home. Disc pain. Cannot move fast, cannot serve. I must relinquish control. Determined to still demand it, and at least get out to daily mass, I find my husband has accidentally taken my car keys to work. And winter has been relentless here in the northeast. Another 8-12 inches today and confinement to the indoors. Greed for my own will floods my heart and an unwillingness to bend ( no pun intended) is my own interior storm. And so, I will go the way of so many men and women of Scripture.

The Syrophoenician woman fell at His feet to beg for the healing for her daughter. ( Mark 7: 25)

Martha’s sister sat beside Him at His feet, listening to Him (Luke 10:39)

“One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at His feet.” ( Mark 5: 22)

“Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them.” (Matthew 15:30)

The woman bleeding for 12 years, realizing what had happened to her, “approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.” ( Mark 5: 23)

And perhaps my most perfect example of submission in faith….His Mother, who stood at His feet.  Yes, the first one not to fall, but to stand.  This time it seemed He needed the healing….feet pierced through with the nails and covered with blood.  She stands there at His feet. (John 19:25) Kisses them perhaps.  Remains there with Him as if her feet were also stayed to the ground beneath her, keeping her from falling.  It was her will and her love that caused her to remain there … co-sharer of the great sacrifice for souls….at His feet.

And that is where He finds me, on the floor and at His feet.

There is nothing to the faithful, that Providence does not turn out for the good for those with resigned and submissive wills. My pain has brought me here.  I am taught to distrust myself and to abandon.  Here, demons will flee, I can listen attentively to Him speaking to me, I can feel hemorrhaging wounds being healed. And if I dare, I can kiss the cross in spiritual union with my Mother.

A Fertile Church

Lord, You speak to me today of evangelization.

Ground so rocky. Heart so dry. Can’t believe you’re choosing me.

It’s like a cross upon my shoulders, dragging it’s weight behind me.

Strive and strive to till this soil. Muscles ache, all energy spent.  Thorns cover this place and hands, they bleed.

How could this heart-ground possibly be your fertile Church?

” It is true that I am pleased that your eyes not rest until you have planted me a garden in your heart. And true too that there is much fruit to bear. But you are forgetting the order of things.”

His greatest power is His Mercy.  Do I receive it in confession?

Lord, have mercy on me a sinner.

How do  I receive Him at Mass… the Word….the Seed that falls down from heaven for me?

On rocky ground? Where thorns surround? Am I listening when Word is proclaimed?

And on the way to communion with Him, do birds come, and steal Him away from me?

I have been trying so hard, too hard on my own. Only grace can change this now.

Then chalice meets my lips….”the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.”  I believe.

Like fertile ground, I receive.

The garden begins with His love first.  I must let Him be my Father, let Him rain down all good gifts.

It is the human person’s most precious gift. The ability to receive.

The dragging cross now plows the earth behind me!

The soil softens.  The heart warms with the Light of this Son, and quickens with the circulation of His own Blood. The Seed has a place to grow.

The Church can now be fertile.