saints in the making… together!

What is the most exciting aspect of being in a courtship?

The hugs and kisses? The friendship? The companionship? The romance?

I’d have to say it’s none of those. It’s the sanctity. That’s what’s most exciting!

Spiritual growth and holiness are at the center of my relationship with my boyfriend. Christ is at the core of our courtship. Not in a dull, mechanical way, but in an alive, organic way!

Do we ever get sidetracked and forget that? Sure.

(Life’s busy. And we’re two laypeople in the world, with in-the-world schedules and interests like everyone else… It’s not like we are monastic like St. Francis and St. Claire– though they are two awesome patrons of ours!)

Does it get hard not to get caught up in the “eros”? You bet.

(Just because we strive to be devoted Catholic twenty-somethings doesn’t mean we don’t feel physical desires normal to any romantic relationship! But instead of listening to the world, we try to be rebels and listen to Our Lord… and embrace chastity. Best decision for us.)

But when it all comes down to it, my boyfriend and I are building not upon our “eros,” but rather upon our “agape” — our Christ-like love for one another and our shared love for Christ!

Why? Because we figure that the “eros” is strong enough anyway. Focusing on it is unnecessary and tempting. However, building our “agape” is truly investing towards a possible vocation to marriage together! And stronger agape will make for stronger eros, so it’s win-win on both accounts!

It’s exciting to think that the whole purpose and wildly beautiful meaning of our relationship is to see Christ in one another, to love Him in one another, and to bring one another to Him.

We’re building up the kingdom of God… In one another!!

That’s something that will last beyond our time here on earth. How beautiful and how amazing of a gift is that task?! We are called to help one another to grow spiritually, to grow in holiness, to grow in sanctity!

Yes, my boyfriend is the cheese to my macaroni. In so many ways!

Yes, my boyfriend and I are each others’ first official sweethearts. (Don’t gag!)

And yes, we are best friends.

But best of all…

We are two saints in the making, together.

MISSION: HEAVEN.

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Emotions vs. Decisions

My boyfriend lives 1342 miles away.

Every day I long to be near his side. Not a day goes by that I do not. But alas, I have one last year of graduate school to finish, and contracts, and obligations here in California. Souls to serve.

People ask why he hasn’t followed me here, but in all honesty, I wouldn’t let him. He is thriving with his company there. This is the best for him, for us.

I wear a chastity promise ring (which he gave me :-))… and every time I notice the sunlight glimmer off of it, or even the bulb-light from the lamp on my nightstand bounce off of it… I am reminded of how much he loves me. He loves me with a heroic love. A selfless love. A patient love.

We are going on almost 60 days of not seeing each other. Every gap feels like a courtship lent of sorts: a time for pruning and detachment, but also a time for great growth as a couple.

And every day, I have a choice:

I can wallow in my emotion. I can throw a pity party. Woe can be me. (This is the easy way out. And yes, I have taken it many a times.)

Or I can decide to look past my ardent desire to be with my dear beloved, appreciate the very fact that I believe I have found my very own St. Joseph (or rather, Our Lord has so graciously gifted me with him! :-)), and remember to savor every bit of today, for THIS is where God wants me at this moment!

I can remember… That patience is a virtue, and that God is hoping that I practice it, and practice it well.

Emotions or decisions…

What will rule my life?

I’m a school counselor two days a week, and this hangs in the faculty lounge. I look at it and I am reminded that every day, though I feel so strongly
called to be with my St. Joseph 1342 miles away… Our Lord is still using me here in California… He has reasons. 🙂

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Please don’t tell me everything is wonderful now…

Since my middle school days, this song by Everclear has been a go-to play for whenever I feel down.

Just watching this video tonight made me tear up.

I’ve never seen the music video, but it illustrates the song so well. And it really touched me, because it’s about something nobody loves–especially kids: divorce.

“I just want my life to be the same… Just like it used to be… Some days, I hate everything… I hate everything… Everyone and everything… Please don’t tell me everything is wonderful now.”

And a second thought…: I am so honored to be able to sit with clients in the therapy room. To sit with souls, children of God, who are in pain, to listen, to try my best to understand why they are hurting.

The truth is that we all hurt– not only those who go to therapy. We all hurt from things in our past, from things in our present, because of the anxiety of things to come. I think that souls who opt to go to therapy are the most valiant of us all: they are willing to show their vulnerable side.

In our hurts, may we always turn to the LORD, who hears the subtle nuances in the very silence of our hearts.

“WONDERFUL” by Everclear

“Hey, ain’t life wonderful? Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful… Isn’t it wonderful now?”

I close my eyes when I get too sad
I think thoughts that I know are bad
Close my eyes and I count to ten
Hope it’s over when I open them

I want the things that I had before
Like a Star Wars poster on my bedroom door
I wish I could count to ten
Make everything be wonderful again

Hope my mom and I hope my dad
Will figure out why they get so mad
Hear them scream, I hear them fight
They say bad words that make me wanna cry

Close my eyes when I go to bed
And I dream of angels who make me smile
I feel better when I hear them say
Everything will be wonderful someday

Promises mean everything when you’re little
And the world’s so big
I just don’t understand how
You can smile with all those tears in your eyes
Tell me everything is wonderful now

Please don’t tell me everything is wonderful now

I go to school and I run and play
I tell the kids that it’s all okay
I laugh aloud so my friends won’t know
When the bell rings I just don’t wanna go home

Go to my room and I close my eyes
I make believe that I have a new life
I don’t believe you when you say
Everything will be wonderful someday

Promises mean everything when you’re little
And the world is so big
I just don’t understand how
You can smile with all those tears in your eyes
When you tell me everything is wonderful now

No
No, I don’t wanna hear you tell me everything is wonderful now
No
No, I don’t wanna hear you tell me everything is wonderful now

I don’t wanna hear you say
That I will understand someday
No, no, no, no
I don’t wanna hear you say
You both have grown in a different way
No, no, no, no
I don’t wanna meet your friends
And I don’t wanna start over again
I just want my life to be the same
Just like it used to be
Some days I hate everything
I hate everything
Everyone and everything
Please don’t tell me everything is wonderful now…

I don’t wanna hear you tell me everything is wonderful now

in Your mysteries. I meet You.

Doing, doing, doing. What ever happened to my contemplative soul? To the inner spirit within… The young woman so one with Love Himself?

Recently someone pointed: “We just do, do, do, but do we ever stop and ask, ‘God, is this even what You WANT me to do?'”

It made me think: It’s time that I prioritize being one with the Lord (and those He has gifted me with!) over being busy in His name!

Sometimes, I feel that I know what is best for myself and seemingly fly into automatic pilot. Yet God may be whispering and asking something completely different of me!

But God should be pilot. Where does He want to fly me? Am I being too stubborn of a co-pilot, and taking myself on an unnecessary detour?

God would like us to meet Him in His mystery. Through our ordinary work and ordinary circumstances in addition to the Sacraments!

And God would like us to meet Him in our very loved ones. After all, they are made in His very image and likeness, and He has so graciously gifted us with them in particular to live out our vocations!

Do we have enough time for God?

Do we have enough time for the souls that God means us to love and to serve the most?

Or are we just flying on autopilot?

Every day, we need to contemplate God’s mystery by meeting Him there. It is then that we can discern if we are letting Him be our pilot.

He’s in control. And His Will is most adventuresome… Let us never think otherwise!

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…my favorite poster from World Youth Day 2011, in Madrid… 🙂