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