THIS. IS. IT.
…in a couple of ways!
First? I moved recently… from Sunny Southern California… to… well, can you guess it from the Instagram below? (Bottom right– my awesomesauce Ikea twin bed in my new room– I found a wonderful apartment-mate to live with; she recently got engaged too!).
My life has been a roller coaster ride. Enjoyable and exhilarating, however! So many things to figure out; my whole modus operandi has has been reforming. I’ve been building a new life here, close to my fiance!
Yes… I left this perfect-weather land behind (picture: SoCal beach) in order to marry the “Saint Joseph” of my dreams. 😉
Secondly, THIS. IS. IT.
…because it is LENT!
This is the “put the petal to the medal” time for us Catholic Christians! FORTY days– like Jesus’s forty in the desert, when he fasted the entire time– that we are called to conversion.
Forty days to DETACH from good AND not-so-good things. Forty days to re-ATTACH to the One who gives LIFE and LOVE: Jesus!
Why? Because we are human. Because every year that we live, we grow more attached and convinced that earthly things or even other people can fill us. Lent is here to CHALLENGE US. Yes, we ARE saints in the making! …And read it like it really is…
…Which brings me to another thought.
Recently, Matthew and I attended a marriage preparation seminar entitled “God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage.” It really got me pumped into thinking about how human sexuality in all of its intricacies is such a BEAUTIFUL design of God. God designed human sexuality because He wanted us to deeper understand HIS MYSTERY. Crazy.
(Cake tasting… now that’s crazy. Can’t wait for the wedding!)
The seminar, created by Christopher West and based on Blessed John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body,” has inspired us to live the last 52 days of pre- “one flesh” singleness more chastely.
Our shared couple Lenten resolution?
To be sticklers for our “inside rules”– that is, our “chastity rules” when we are hanging out one-on-one at each other’s apartments. Our inside rule [of thumb], which we upheld for quite some time, was to only “hold hands” in order to guard our chastity.
I know what you’re thinking! No, we aren’t puritanical…. Ha! Far from it. My fiance is Italian…. go figure! And yes, we have broken the “inside rules.” We’re human. Please.
We are two normal people with pretty normal, healthy desires.
We just feel like a great way to guard our purity is to set the bar high, as it gives us a little less dangerous wiggle room. And trust me, us humans are great at rationalizing things that their subconscious knows is not the best. We have realized that. We have seen how easy, especially after engagement, it was to compromise the “only hold hands” rule, slowly yet surely placing us in not-so-good situations. (Confession is a GREAT thing!)
But what is better than to offer our passions up to Our LORD, who has given His very life to us?!
Because of Jesus, we are MORE ALIVE than ever before. We are no longer dead in sin! So yes, our new couple Lenten resolution is to maintain our original chastity guidelines. And what a beautiful gift to God for Lent, as we will be married just six days after Lent is over, on Easter Saturday!
As for my personal Lenten resolution?
I plan to go to daily Mass (where you receive the body of Christ) and/or daily Eucharistic Adoration (where you adore the body of Christ in the communion host).
And I hope to reflect on at least one spiritual item and/or quote a day…. and hopefully blog about it.
(The Eucharist… It does a body good! Because “It” is JESUS.)
I also have some sleeping/exercising Lenten resolutions, but the above two are my main ones. (I’ve realized that with my own goals, it’s always best to keep them small and manageable.)
Yes… THIS. IS. IT.
BRING. IT. ON.
LENTEN REFLECTION OF THE DAY:
“There is true love, and therefore happiness, only between people who freely yield possession of the self in order to give themselves to one another.”
Jacques Philippe, Interior Freedom, p. 13
Christ gave Himself to me to show me what real love is: emptying of self, dying to self, for another. Without condition, without cost, without demand of anything in return.
Jesus in the Eucharist gives Himself to me, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, in the form of a tiny wafer of bread… true flesh to feed on, true drink.
Christ’s ultimate happiness is that I receive the love He has for me. How crazy!
And because He yields Himself entirely to me, I experience TRUE LOVE in the Eucharist: I consume the MYSTERY of the TRINITY. By His unconditionally selfless love, I am enveloped in the Mystery of my God!
In Theology of the Body, Blessed John Paul II speaks about how we cannot TRULY love another if we do not respect our beloved’s MYSTERY (and DIGNITY) for its own sake, apart from whatever our self-affirming and/or self-seeking affections may be.
In my engagement and imminent marriage, I pray that I can learn, every day, to better appreciate the MYSTERY of my beloved fiance.
I need to let God teach me how to love my fiance for WHO HE IS. Not what he does for me. (Although he does make me very incredibly happy at times. And very upset at others, ha ha.)
I love my fiance because he is a beautiful (not just handsome) son of God.
My fiance has a heart worthy to love, a personhood incomparable to anyone else’s, and a soul unique to the world that cannot be repeated.
And God is entrusting his soul to me once we are married. God is uniting him to me in “one flesh” at the altar. Now… that’s a #mindblowingkindaLove.