Those were the words of Our Lord to St. Francis…the man who God used to change the face of Europe in a time when The Church was slowly falling apart.
This weekend, Andrew and I witnessed a beautiful sight! 4 young-men laying face-down, offering their lives: their sexuality, their property and their own “free-will” in obedience as a GIFT of SELF to Our Lord as they entered into their final vows with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. If that is not the most radical and COUNTER-CULTURAL event of our time, I don’t know what else is!
During the homily, Fr. Mariusz spoke about the “depressing” statistics of our modern society. Choked-up with tears, he spoke about the majority of our youth being lost to the things of this world….a world where most people have lost the “meaning of life”. Just as St. Francis heard Our Lord speak to him “Rebuild my Church”, He speaks to each of us.
So this weekend we painted my parent’s apartment and wow! what a crazy weekend it was. It was truly a time to reflect on a lot of things……
The Lord was constantly placing in front of me the little things that I need to continue changing and working on with me and my family. (like my temper!)
While my mother and father were on my back about things that needed to get done, or HOW they needed to be done, Jesus kept whispering in my ears the ways of the Holy Spirit :
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
On so many levels the Lord is chiseling away at my hard heart. (especially this weekend) As each of us do, I have so many wounds from my childhood and from my own family. Wounds caused by different family members, of not feeling as close to my father as I should have been…. wounds caused by growing up in this city, of being exposed to many things that children shouldn’t be exposed to and wounds from seeing so many families around me falling apart.
Instead of running away, (as sometimes I wish I could do!) I know that the Lord is calling me to go deeper. Together with Andrew, I must choose to fight these current battles….battles that MUST be fought in order for God to heal these wounds. If I run away, I will only be putting a “band-aid” on these wounds…..which will hurt when it is ripped-off….what God desires to do in me is to truly heal these wounds, allowing them to fully grow back to be STRONGER!
But it’s NOT easy! Wounds that we have from our families are the hardest to deal with! I find myself reacting in ways that I would NEVER react to any of my friends…..wounds that come from very dark times in my life….but God even wants to go into that darkness to heal it.
I can hear Him speaking through the mouth of our dear hero Mother Theresa:
“Love begins at home…for it is not how much we do… but how much LOVE we put into every small action.”
At this time of intense wedding preparation (7 days left til we hit our 2-month mark!), I find the enemy constantly trying to take away the peace in my home.
Our family has a story, we have all truly come a long way. We each individually have a story to tell, of all the wonders of God’s work in our lives. We are rebuilding a home that has so many wounds, but we must rebuild!
Andrew and I will not move-in together until the wedding (The way it’s supposed to be, of course) and that means that I still live with my parents. I’m 25 years-old and it can be difficult! At times I find myself saying “I can’t wait to leave this house!”, instead of saying “I can’t wait to be married” just as it is written:
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
So now I find myself sitting here thinking of how much life will change in just a couple of months! I now prepare to leave my home, my life (for the last 25 years) my WORLD!
The Lord reminds me that I must make this change, this departure, in Love, Joy, Peace, Forbearance, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control.
Just as the 4 young-men laid face-down as an offering to Our Lord in marriage to Him, Andrew and I are called to offer ourselves fully as offerings to each other and to Him!
It is through these ways of giving myself that I will truly become the Wife and future Mother that God is calling me to be!