Posted by: wordofthevine | December 14, 2017

Incompatibilities: A Necessary Part of Holy Marriage

I often gain so much from the examples of the Saints. My husband found a video of the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen discussing marriage.  Fulton Sheen spoke about going on retreat with Dominican priest, Father Felix Leseur, O.P., whose wife is Elisabeth reportedly asked God for some physical suffering that she could offer for the conversion of her atheist husband, Felix. She experienced painful Chron’s Disease and finally breast cancer which claimed her life. While she lived, she never saw the fruit of her daily offering for her husband’s soul but God gave her a word of knowing. She told him before he died that he would one day become a Dominican priest, a thought that Felix shrugged off until he read her diary after her death. He returned to the practice of his Catholic faith after he realized how she had offered her suffering for his conversion. While on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, he also, according to Sheen received the perfect gift of Faith, to know clearly without wondering, what God was asking of him and wanting in the moment. He became a Dominican priest in 1923 at the age of 62, nine years following Elisabeth’s death.

With the insight of Fulton Sheen, and the example of Elisabeth and Felix Leseur’s lives, we see that certain incompatibilities in marriage are absolutely necessary so we can have something to offer for our spouse, family and Church. The Lord wants a whole-hearted offering for others from the core of our beings, an offering that costs us something so we learn to get ourselves, our selfish focus out of the way.

I was reminding myself this when I was out to dinner recently with my husband, John. He is a wonderful man but quiet. During this dinner, even though we were celebrating our anniversary, he was quiet and hardly spoke. This is somewhat the norm. John is quiet. I enjoy verbal interaction. My offering is to move away from what I’d prefer to relish who John is. I’m not going to change him, nor should I desire to do so. What about you? Where is God showing you that you can offer your experiences for the good of another, the world and the Church? Join me live on Wednesdays, January 3- February 7, from 7-8 PM CST as we discuss this further using my book, Awakening a Life-giving Heart: Insights for Women Who Pray for the Church. ~ Mary

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