Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Even More Glorious!

Many years ago prior to my conversion there were many times in many different places where I would hear

"Why would I ever want to be married to the _same_ woman for the rest of my life. How boring is that?"

Now, there is a line of truth in that saying, but the implication is that she would remain static throughout the marriage . . . that is never changing.

What person remains static throughout their life? Perhaps one that knows nothing more than fear or someone that has never tasted true freedom?

Both Lucille and I have passed through some significant moments of healing and growth lately.

So much so, that when I look at her I do not see the same woman that I saw even a month ago.

One of the more beautiful gems of Grace that comes to us in sacramental marriage is the ability to pour our heart into prayer for our spouse. No matter the circumstances, our Lord truly understands what it means to break down and pray at the deepest levels for another.

And because of that, He answers those prayers that rise from deep within our heart and spirit for our spouse. He never answers those prayers in ways we expect Him too either.

So, today, as I take a moment to eat my breakfast and take a sip of tea in between work tasks, I gaze upon the most beautiful woman I have ever encountered with my minds eye coloured by the glasses of my heart with a truly deep seated Joy. :)

I am truly blessed to have Lucille as my wife.

John Everett

Feast of Our Lady, Cause of Our Joy

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fireproof-A movie about the Best and the Worst of Marriage

One morning, my husband and I were getting ready to go about our daily routine. I decided to have a shower before the kids woke up. Unbeknownst to me, John was having a shower in the other bathroom at the same time. Now our house has a limited capacity for hot water, so you can guess the rest. Both of us got a dose of cold water that morning. What a way to start a morning! But, fortunately we got a good chuckle out of it.

This is simply a small example of what the lack of communication can do in a marriage. If one goes one way and the other goes the other without communicating with each other, we get hit with a cold shower almost every time no matter what form that takes in daily life.

The movie "Fireproof" portrays a marriage in desperate need of repair with the divorce papers in the works where the lack of communication is but one of the troubles taking the marriage to ruins. But amid the destructive fire within the marriage a flicker of hope remains. One partner decides to go against his will and begin the process to try to re-ignite their love again. It started with advice from his father to do one unexpected act of kindness every day over 40 days for his wife. The story builds on that principle from there with all of its struggles, pain, and healing.

The sacrament of marriage cannot take place unless the couple goes through the marriage consent (Catechism of the catholic church, 1625-1632). One form of the dialogue that happens is as follows:

"(Name) and (name), have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage?"

"Will you honor each other as man and wife for the rest of your lives?"

"Will you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?"

Priest (or deacon): Since it is your intention to enter into marriage, join your right hands, and declare your consent before God and his Church.

Groom: I, (name), take you, (name), for my lawful wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

Bride: I, (name), take you, (name), for my lawful husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

Groom (placing the wedding ring on his wife's ring finger): (Name), take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Bride (placing the wedding ring on her husband's ring finger): (Name), take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

When one gets married, the love feels strong. That is why we get married right? We almost wear rose colored glasses in what is called the "romantic phase" (the first stage of marriage). I remember one of the best pieces of advice a newly ordained priest gave us when we were newly married that was, "Never forget the feelings you have now and keep them in your heart." At the time the comment was a little foreign of course, because how could this feeling disappear? I took the advice and remembered his statement. Now, after almost 7 years of marriage, I have never understood more the importance of these wise words.

Many know the saying that love is a choice and not always a feeling. When good times are replaced by tougher times, our love for each other is tested. Love is like a child. The child will test you and test you until you are black and blue in the face. The child wants to know how serious you are, as if saying, do you truly mean what you are saying? Love says, are you truly committed to the love you professed many years ago? The answer should consistently say, YES! I AM! I pledge my love for you for better OR for worse, till death do us part.

I recently listened to a CD recording of speakers Dr. Michael and Catherine Pakaluk. They spoke of an amazing testimony about how they came to where they were now with Catherine being Michael's 2nd wife. His first wife died of cancer at the tender age of 41 leaving him with 6 children. Dr. Michael Pakaluk mentioned how he was standing next to his wife's grave at the end of the funeral, saying, "It is finished".

It was very touching to hear, not only because it paralleled what Jesus said before he died on the cross fulfilling His promise, but because his marriage WAS finished. His vocation of marriage to Ruth, his first wife had been fulfilled and it was good. The promise fulfilled is the epitome of what love truly is.

I believe that the vows we take within marriage should be kept in a special place so we can meditate on them especially when times are bad. When one gets married we have a pretty clear image of what the "better" part of our vows were. But, it's the "worse" part where things get a little grey. We see the "better" because our marriage commitment when first married is so new.

Let's face it, the longer we are married the "more intense" the temptations can be. We can choose to let the temptations go or succumb to them and sin. If we choose to act on the temptation, we will suffer the consequences. Sin can become a cancer unless we cooperate with grace to stop it from growing by saying, "NO" to sin.

When temptations come, the following are four ways we can choose to deal with them:

  • Meditate on the wedding vows, especially the "for worse" part.
  • Meditate on the scripture passage, "What God has brought together, let no man put asunder" (Mark 10:2-16).
  • Meditate while looking at a physical picture or a mental picture of our family as opposed to dwelling on our selfish needs. Our family is a gift to treasure: My husband who is not perfect, our kids and the joy, innocence, and energy that they exude are truly gifts.
    • Do we really want to destroy what God has given or do we want to build our marriage and make it better and brighter no matter what the cost? We need to remind ourselves that what we have in front of us is beautiful and believe it.
  • Last, but not least, we need to put out the flames of conflict with forgiveness and frequently receiving the sacrament of reconciliation. Forgiveness, acts of kindness (in the movie, "Fireproof", they called the acts of kindness the 40 Day Love Dare), and a serious commitment to change will be the water the marriage needs to put out the flaming fires before they become out of control to the point of destroying the marriage.

Take time to watch the movie "Fireproof" and let the Holy Spirit do the rest. Whether your marriage is heading for divorce or not, you will reap benefits. Listen to the theme song, "Waiting". Let the song pour into your being and let it speak to your heart. This song brought goose bumps to my skin for the longest time while hearing it. This song is truly a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

* For more information re: the four stages of marriage visit

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Glimpses of Glory in Her

When the heart is tender and open, or even when it is not so open, there are times where the Holy Spirit will open the eyes of our heart to see the whole beauty of our wife.

In that moment she will be almost radiant.

When we experience this Glimpse of Glory for the first and subsequent times we are beginning to discover the inner beauty that drew us to fall in love with our wife in the first place.

It is important to note that her inner beauty is founded both in Jesus Christ and the blessing of the Holy Sacrament of Marriage.

With that in mind and heart we can work even harder to pray for our heart to open up and discover even more in our wife.

  • Our Lady Queen of Chastity
  • Blessed Marie Rose Durocher, pray for us.
  • St. Joseph, pray for us.

John Everett

Feast of Blessed Marie Rose Durocher

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Husband's Eyes of Love and Purity

They are the Eyes that won over the heart of Mary Magdalene.

What was it that Mary saw in the Lord's eyes when He first looked at her?

In our heart of hearts, the answer to that question is the Man that looked at her in purity and spoke to her as a person of dignity. She was not an object to be used by Him.

In the Purgative journey of the eyes, also mentioned yesterday in the post on A Husband's Contemplative Chastity of the Eyes, we as husbands, as well as prospective husbands, need to discover how it was the Lord looked upon every woman.

When we stop to think, pray, and contemplate how the look of the Lord was towards women we can discover in ourselves the source of that look: The Lord Jesus Christ resident within us through the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19).

When we discover that Source within, we can tap into Him and His gift of grace to let go of anything that we train our eyes on that is not of God. We can even begin to discover the motivation for looking at something or someone too.

Whether married or not, we can then begin to discover our sisters in the Lord in a chaste way . . . a way critical to maintaining fidelity in our marriage or fidelity to our Lord in the single life.

  • St. Joseph, true man of chastity and purity, pray for us.
  • St. Augustine, chaste lover of the Lord, pray for us.

John Everett

Feast of Blessed Joseph of Saint Hyacinth

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A Husband's Contemplative Chastity of the Eyes

The Master tells us that early in our Purgative State that we must purge those things that we invite into our beings via our eyes that are not conducive to contemplating Him.

Our eyes must be fixed upon the Cross and on Him that won for us the reward of Eternal Life.

The eyes are the windows to the soul so goes the clich�. In our case, as Catholic Husbands, there is a very deep and humbling truth to this old clich�.

The eyes are truly the windows into the heart, mind, and spirit of our wife.

The same is true for her looking into our eyes. In our eyes, she can see into the depths of our being . . . if we let her.

The truth . . . or not . . . lies in what we do with our eyes when we are in the presence of our wife and family but also not in their presence.

If we truly believe that our marriage is Sacramental, that is a visible sign of an invisible grace given (New Advent definition), then we need to stop, think, and meditate on who our wife is for us.

What are those invisible graces (CCC 1641 and 1642 specifically) given to us men through our wife? And, what are the invisible graces she receives through us?

Well, if our eyes, and thus our hearts are concentrating on other things, places, and/or women we may never really get to know what those graces are.

If we take the time to stop and contemplate the gift of grace that flows both through the Sacrament of Marriage and thus our wife, then perhaps we can discover how it is that Jesus Christ is present in her and in our marriage.

As we begin to let go of those things and people that distract our eyes and embrace the yearning the Holy Spirit places on our heart to contemplate the woman we have married, we begin to discover things about her that we would otherwise have missed.

  • Her physical beauty and her attributes.
  • The beauty of her heart and He Who rests therein.
  • Her graceful spirit and all of its radiant beauty.

The labour of love was never meant to be easy. Walking and working in His Love, and allowing that Love to become a part of who we are and what we do in our marriage is an ongoing job that we must never stop doing as husbands and fathers.

John Everett

Feast of Our Lady of Charity of el Cobre

Feasts of September 8

Friday, September 04, 2009

Men, Given This A Listen

I reviewed the movie Fireproof (previous blog post) a while back.

It is a really good movie for husband and wife to watch together in a state of prayerful awareness.

One of the pieces of music associated with the movie is a song by John Waller called While I'm Waiting. The song is pretty awesome and when tied to our struggles and suffering has a deep meaning.

John has the Fireproof mix of the song on his Web site:

Note that the song will kick in as soon as you hit the site.

Take a deep breath and listen with your heart, mind, and spirit.

Let the Lord speak to you through the words of the song and the characters in the movie.

He certainly has to me. Some of the words that He has spoken:

  • Humility
    • Kneel before her (Lucille) and express my awe of her and my love for her.
  • Forgiveness
    • Beg her forgiveness for my shortcomings and failings.
  • Fidelity
    • Be True to her in our Marriage Covenant.
  • Chastity
    • Be True to her in my body, mind, eyes, and heart.

John Everett

Feast of Pope Saint Boniface I

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Marriage Journey: Purgative, Illuminative, and Unitive

From the Catholic Online article citing St. Thomas Aquinas:

The first duty which is incumbent on man is to give up sin and resist concupiscence, which are opposed tocharity(sic) ; this belongs to beginners, in whose hearts charity is to be nursed and cherished lest it be corrupted. The second duty ofman(sic) is to apply his energies chiefly to advance in virtue ; this belongs to those who are making progress and who are principally concerned that charity may be increased and strengthened in them. The third endeavor and pursuit of man should be to rest in God and enjoy Him; and this belongs to the perfect who desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ.

The Purgative, Illuminative, and Unitive ways have traditionally applied to our spiritual life. That is, our journey in relationship with God.

Now, let us have a look at our own marriage and how that journey can be seen through the same set of lenses.


The first state is that of the beginner. By purgative, I am called to purge all that is within me that holds me back from giving myself completely and totally to Lucille.

I am called to learn how to lay my life down completely for Lucille and when the time came our children. Just as Jesus did and does for His Church.

That means purging my attachment to things, to places I visit in person and virtually that take me away from Lucille, and to any outside spiritual influence that is not of God.

This is a tough one. It is really difficult to let go of the toys, of my wants and desires, and in some cases my dreams that I am discovering may never be fulfilled.

Where my treasure is, so is my heart (Matt. 6:21). I want my treasure to be my wife and my family founded in Jesus Christ and His Sacrament of Marriage.


After a number of years into our relationship, I have discovered in myself a good view of my weaknesses and propensity to commit sin that impacts my marriage.

But, in the process of discovering and purging the things that were holding me back in my relationship with Lucille, I have begun to discover things in her I could not see before because of those things that held me back!

Forgiveness plays a huge part in the discovery, or Illumination of our marriage's gifts and glories. As we develop a communication method that incorporates the ability to express ourselves without fearing a destructive criticism death spiral, forgiveness enables us to look past it all and begin to discover those gifts and glories.

The Illumination of Lucille's heart, and my ability to "see" into it is also a beautiful benefit of letting go. The more that I let go, the more beautiful she becomes. The more that I let go, the more I can embrace Lucille in all aspects of our marriage and being.

The other side of that coin, and one that is critical for the deepening of our marital relationship, is the opening of my heart to Lucille.

The Illuminative process is a two way street of the heart. One outbound to Lucile's heart and one road inbound for her to take up residence in mine.


This state is a bit tougher to address at this point for me.


Because our marriage is only 7 years young.

We have been blessed though to catch glimpses here and there into the truly amazing gift that God gives us in our Marital Unitive state.

One that we both have experienced is the union of our two hearts founded in His Blood. There is very neat Joy that begins to find residence in both of us as we become more and more open of heart to each other.

That Joy is somehow founded in the realization that Lucille loves and accepts me as I am and that if things go sideways on us we have an established mechanism to work on forgiveness and penance.

Some further reading:

John Everett

Feast of Pope Saint Gregory the Great

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

TV Series Review: Defying Gravity

From St. Paul:

"for we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Eph 6:11-12)

There is nothing sometimes more surprising than being blindsided by something or someone we have taken an interest in.

In this case, I have caught the last few episodes of a new TV series called Defying Gravity.

The show is well done with there being key emotional hooks to grab our attention such as the adventure dynamic, technology displayed, special effects, and sexual interest/tensions between the characters on the space ship and on the ground supporting them.

So, not having caught the first couple of episodes, there are a few elements missing in my understanding of the show. Keep this in mind when it comes to my opinion on it.

So, what do I mean about being blindsided?

Given what I have seen so far, my expectations as far as the characters and their development were fairly on the level. There were some pretty straight forward interactions between the characters on the space ship that would seem to be pretty typical for a group of folks living in what is essentially a small container for a long period of time.

Last night, in the episode named Rubicon which means the point of no return, the characters were called to let go of something from their past. They had to pick something they brought with them and put it in a "time capsule" container that was to be left in space at the Rubicon point to be picked up on the way back.

As we were shown the various things the characters were looking to choose, we were given flash backs to the point in time where the objects acquired their value . in most cases.

In those flash backs and some of the current time interactions between the characters we discovered:

  • Casual sex is seemingly okay (not unusual for any media).
    • NSA - No Strings Attached is one theme between Maddux and Nadia Schilling.
    • No consequences to the heart or spirit.
    • Shifting between different partners has no consequence or impact on future relationships or self.
  • Religious objects are "crap" not needed for faith.
    • Discussion between Morales and Wassenfelder when she was deliberating between a Miraculous Medal necklace or a dog collar from a pet of hers for the time capsule. Her expression after that conversation made it pretty clear that she had to struggle between them.
  • Tarot Cards hold the "truth".
    • Zoe's mom "reads" people using the cards. Her "reads" are seemingly accurate.
  • A vasectomy is okay.
    • A flash back for Maddux Donner to him discussing his vasectomy with a doctor . which was apparently not there.
  • Abortion is okay.
    • Zoe Barns got pregnant sometime during the early phase of the training and weeding session all of the candidates were going through. I think I caught that one of the other characters, Maddux Donner, was the father.
    • Zoe has to decide between continuing the pregnancy and losing the chance to get into space or having an abortion which is quite "illegal" according to the abortion doctor she talks to.
    • Needless to say the decision was made by her to lose the child and not her chance at space.

It's only a TV show and the characters are only human right?

If we stop, and take seriously what St. Paul is telling us at the beginning of this post then the answer is clearly a resounding NO.

Recognizing that there are spiritual influences, sometimes very subtle until they really show themselves as they did in this particular episode of Defying Gravity, takes a lot of prayer and discernment.

  • We are what we eat.

If we take to the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confession on a regular basis, then this statement certainly holds true.

If we feed ourselves on media and other content that is very subtle about its message and who is delivering that message, then where does that lead us to? What, or whom, do we become, and what do we believe if we continue to watch? How many justifications and excuses will it take to continue down that path?

As a husband and father, it is ultimately up to me to be the spiritual bastion upon which this type of content must bound off of. Thus, I need to know if the content of the show is leading me, and thus my family, closer to Jesus or if it is taking us away from Him.

I take that responsibility very seriously as I am a weak and sinful man. That means many confessions, receiving Our Lord in the Eucharist as often as I can, and begging for His Mercy and my family's forgiveness for my failings regularly.

Some external links:

We pray:

  • Our Lady Queen of Chastity, pray for us.
  • Our Lady Queen of Fidelity, pray for us.
  • St. Joseph, pray for us.
  • St. Augustine, pray for us.
  • + In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
  • Amen.

John Everett

Feast of Saint Teresa de Gesu, Jornet y Ibars

Monday, August 24, 2009

Deep Healing Requires A Commitment to Honesty

There are many journeys we take in this life that require us to "walk in the footsteps of our Master" (1 John 2:6).

Jesus' footsteps walked His Passion, Death, and Resurrection among the many others including His miracles of healing and raising the dead.

As with anything in this world, our lives have cycles. The principle cycle of the Christian's life is that of sharing in His Passion, struggling to let go in the Death of dying to self and others, and finally embracing the gift of freedom in Resurrection.

The perspective that we can gain when we participate in the life of the Church, especially in receiving Jesus in the Eucharist and His tender mercy in the Sacrament of Confession/Reconciliation, is one where our lives take on a whole new value.

As we gain an understanding of just how much value we have, Jesus did Suffer, Die, and Rise for us after all, we begin to realize that we have one very serious choice to make.

That choice is between being brutally honest with ourselves and our God . or not.

For those of us that have had a direct participation in the Passion of Christ via the hands of others, in extremely abusive relationships for example, this choice is even more critical as we have learned to lie to ourselves in the midst of the abuse.

We believe the lies we were told by our abusers.

We want to stay in our comfort zone, which is knowing our environment, even in the midst of the abuse, as the unknown is just too terrifying to even contemplate.

So, when we hear the call of Jesus to begin letting go of our abusive relationship cycles, of our patterns of dysfunctional behaviour, and embrace the healing journey, we may say "Yes" but actually we may mean "No".

There will be areas of our past that are no-go zones with our therapists for example. Or, we may harbour all of the anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness since it is all that we seemingly have.

At some point, we will hopefully begin to realize that Jesus is quite persistent in His efforts to bring healing to our heart, mind, psyche, and body.

As terrified as we are, as much as we do not want to face those horrible past events, as much as we don't want to forgive those that have hurt us, He will call us to let go and to forgive.

He will continue to call us to say and mean "Yes".

Don't get me wrong, it is not an easy "Yes" to make. It is an ongoing process of letting go, of remaining committed to being brutally honest with ourselves, others, and especially with God.

We will come to know the darkest moments on the Cross when Jesus cried out about His seeming abandonment in our healing journey. We will come to know most intimately the wounds on His Person.

The Hope that we must secure is in the reality that our suffering can be, and is, redemptive and that ultimately we will walk with the Lord in the Final Resurrection!

  • Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us (x3).
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
  • Saint Bartholomew, pray for us.

John Everett

Feast of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle

Sunday, August 16, 2009

From the Mouths Of Babes - Wisdom

Depending on the situation we are in or a decision we are discerning, we have taken to asking our oldest, Anne-Marie who is now 5, to pray with us and help us to decide or discern.

Raymond, at three, will also be included in the request to pray and contribute depending on the situation at hand.

The one thing that we have realized as parents is that we need to value whatever contribution Anne-Marie, or Raymond, make to the discernment process.

Even if their contribution seems to be completely out of bounds or even a total tangent to where Lucille and I may be at in the discernment process.

One thing we are discovering in this process is if Anne-Marie responds to our, "Why did you say that" with something like, "Because Jesus told me", we listen attentively to what she has to say.

Ultimately, as parents it is our responsibility to make the decisions.

But, a part of that responsibility is to make an act of humility before our children that recognizes their contribution as being a valuable part of our discernment process for decisions that directly impact our children and the family as a whole.

That value is one of the core foundations of their personhood that they will carry with them their entire lives.

The core foundations are the tools we teach our children to use to always keep their face towards the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary.


John Everett

Feast of St. Stephen of Hungary

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Movie: Fireproof - Never Leave Your Partner Behind

Lucille and I watched the movie Fireproof not too long ago.

Caleb and Catherine Hold are on the verge of divorce. There is no longer much of a connection between them with very little in the way of constructive communication happening either.

In what would seem a final and desperate move, Caleb reaches out to his father for some advice.

His dad asks him to hold off on getting into the divorce proceedings until Caleb receives a mail package from him.

When the package arrives, he finds a journal style book in it. Opening it, he finds the title of the book is The Love Dare.

In it is a call to a 40 day journey to work on turning around his marriage.

Needless to say, his journey is extremely painful and there are many struggles to overcome including his feelings of hopelessness for his marriage.

This is a good movie for husband and wife to sit down together and watch after the kids have gone to bed. That is, this is a movie for adults, or perhaps young adults mature enough to understand the dynamics of a relationship breakdown.

Take the time to listen with the heart, mind, and spirit to the message the Holy Spirit wants to share while watching the movie. Pray together before the movie starts. If nothing comes to mind or heart, pray a decade of the Rosary, or even an Our Father together to start off in the right space.

When the movie has finished, don't talk. Let the Holy Spirit's message sink in and then turn to each other and pray at least the Our Father together before starting a conversation.

Take the time to talk. If the conversation is fruitful, then keep it going. The grace will be there to deal with what tomorrow has to bring when tomorrow comes.

The duty of the moment is to discover what the Holy Spirit has placed on both hearts and pray and talk about it together.

If there is indeed conflict within the marriage, then this is an opportune time to humble ourselves before our husband or wife, take responsibility for our contributions to the conflict, and ask for forgiveness.

Marriage is a journey of love and sacrifice that is truly rewarding. We need to take the time to actually recognize the rewards!


John Everett

Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Virtue of Perfection

When I woke up this morning, I needed to get this off my heart.

"She is the perfect wife," John says one day in front of my family as we were visiting this summer. Instantly, I say, "I am not perfect."

My husband has said this at other times in one on one conversations and it baffled me every time. Why is he saying this? I am not perfect. I am a flawed human being. I am sinful. Slowly, I began to realize that what he really meant is that we are perfect for each other but we in ourselves are not perfect.

On our little summer vacation, I learned that perfection is also a virtue. I learned this from a neat book called "A year with the Saints" by the Sisters of Mercy. This book also states a quote by St. Frances de Sales:

"Hate your imperfections, then, because they are imperfections, but love them because they make you know your nothingness and give to you an opportunity to exercise yourself in virtue, and to God to show His mercy towards you" (p. 163).

The book also talks about St. Vincent de Paul who "never felt anger and bitterness against himself on account of his defects" but "the pain felt for a defect will have something in it sweet and tranquil" (p. 162).

After I said I was not perfect, my sister-in-law responded by saying, "I know some people who think they are perfect". The response back was silence. The more I thought about this, the more I wondered what exactly does it mean to be perfect. I guess being perfect can be subject to interpretation.

Most importantly though, what does it mean to be perfect in God's eyes? There are several interpretations of perfection according to the Saints. For the sake of simplicity, I will mention 3 quotes from famous Saints.

The first:

Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do? Here is the true token of a soul absolutely perfect: when one has succeeded in leaving behind his own will to such a degree as no longer to seek, to aim, or to desire to do what he would will, but only what God wills (St. Bernard). (A year with the saints, Sisters of Mercy, p. 17).

The second:

To be perfect in one's vocation is nothing else than to perform the duties and offices to which one is obliged, solely for the honor and love of God, referring all to His glory. Whoever works in this manner may be called perfect in his state, a man according to the heart and will of God (St. Francis de Sales). (A year with the Saints, Sisters of Mercy, p. 8).

And, the third:

All the science of the Saints is included in these two things: To do, and to suffer. And whoever has done these two things best, has made himself most saintly (St. Francis de Sales). (A year with the Saints, Sisters of Mercy, p.11).

When we visit with family, it can be difficult at times because of all the hurts from the past that may come up. But, in our case towards the end of our trip we began to see the hidden graces of our journey together.

St. Gregory, St. Bernard, and St. Charles stated "that we must act in this like travelers who do not regard the road they have gone over, but, rather, what remains for them to traverse - and this they keep always before their eyes, even to their journey's end" (p. 2).

Lucille Everett

Feast of the Transfiguration

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Our Children Teach - God the Father and His Children

The Lord calls us to become like little children:

"At this time the disciples came to Jesus and said, 'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven?' So he called a little child to him whom he set among them. Then he said, 'In truth I tell you, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven."
Matthew 18:1-4

As Catholic Fathers and Catholic Mothers, we can begin to discover the yearning, or a burden, that is placed upon our heart to meditate and eventually contemplate our relationships with our own children.

Lately, this prayerful meditation and contemplation has yielded some fruit.

That is, in contemplating my fatherly love for our children along with the almost infinite number of times we need to correct and discipline them, I am discovering how it is that God the Father looks at us in His love.

No matter how many times we need to get down on our knees before Jesus Christ present in the priest to confess our sins, God the Father still loves us.

His look of love towards us His children is much deeper than our own look of love for our own children. In His love, he has given us His Son, Jesus Christ, in the Most Blessed Sacrament to feed us, heal us, and sustain us (John 6:25-71).

With this realization has come the slow but oncoming dawn of realization: God the Father truly loves us as His children!

He accepts us as we are in all of our woundedness and brokenness. And, just as we are with our own children, He does not excuse us from responsibility for our behaviour!

The key for us is to learn about our relationship with God the Father via our relationship with our children. As Catholic Fathers and Catholic Mothers, our family relationships are one of the key paths we can walk to grow our relationship with Him Who Loves us.

John Everett

Feast of John Marie Vianney