St Anne was old and despairing of having a child, that the younger women would taunt and tease her. Stories say that she and St Joachim continuously made offerings in the temple and implored God to bless them with a child. A situation that seemed hopeless to an aging couple became reality. In the fullness of His time, God planted a precious and special child in the womb of St Anne. One destined to be held above all other women.. one given the title of Mother of the Son of God. As a result this couple is held as an example of married life and parenthood.
On this day, married couples are specially blessed and they may renew their vows of commitment to each other. In his homily at Mass today, Father stressed the importance of married couples to extend grace to each other. He said "Wives do not dwell on the faults, flaws and sins of your husband".
Now, this hits home hard for me. As a wife who used to do these things, I can attest to the fact that all it breeds is bitterness and discontent. Rather, we ought to focus on the good in our husbands. We need to remember that we are not perfect either and our flaws and faults and sins may be just as irritating to them.. maybe even more so.
It has been a long hard journey for me.. but one chock-full of rewarding lessons... lessons from our Lord in giving the gift of grace, of graciousness, forgiveness and tolerance. When I stopped focusing on what was wrong in my marriage, what was wrong with my husband and began to focus instead on how blessed I was to be married, with a home, a husband who provides, children.. the blessings seem endless, countless, limitless!
I want to encourage you to read my three part series on marriage, the links are provided. My story is wrapped up in these little fairy tales. There is a lot more I can go into... how to survive some of the most trying and painful aspects of married life.. but for now I just want to assure you that, with Christ, in Him and through Him, we can overcome anything!
Focusing on the blessings, rather than the trials; the good, rather than the bad is one of the first steps to making your marriage better. I hope that you enjoy the series below, which I wrote in preparation for assisting at Marriage Preparation classes. Its my story.. it could be your story.. but its a story that DOES have a happy ending written by the hand of Jesus Himself in the fullness of His time.
Fairy Tale Part One : Happily Ever After - Expectations
Fairy Tale Part Two: The Honeymoon is Over - Reality Check
Fairy Tale Part Three: Keeping the Dream Alive