Grace to you!
A couple who had been married for more than two decades came to a spiritual director. They had enjoyed a happy marriage but suddenly started to fight over unimportant things. They couldn’t figure out how and when things started to get bad. They knew their relationship was no longer the same.
The meeting with their spiritual director was uneventful in many ways. They went back and forth with their accusations of one another on so many insignificant, honestly boring points. They realized actually nothing was seriously wrong. Why then were they always quarrelling?
The spiritual director requested them to be calm for a while and ask for God’s grace to get to the root cause of their problem. After a few minutes of silence, which seemed like eternity, he asked: “As a couple, how is your spiritual life like? How often do you pray together?”
Their faces lit up! It seemed they received words from an angel. Maybe an insight is finally in hand.
The husband replied that they never thought about it. Both testified that before their marriage started to get sour, they used to pray together everyday. They got too busy and quit praying together. Gradually, they started to grow spiritually apart. “Now I see,” the wife said, “Maybe its because we ceased praying together.”
You know, sometimes, “maybe” could be a significant lead. Maybe could be an indicator. In the spiritual life, while discernment is always called for, do not brush aside the maybe signals. Pay attention.
The spiritual director was good at it. He capitalized on the “maybe.” Thus he advised them to get back home and resume their usual routine of holding their hands together and praying in the early morning or at night before they went to bed. They were to do this for one month and tell him what their experiences were.
A month later, the jubilant couple came back to the spiritual director. “Thank you. Thank you,” they said. “We have found our love again. Our children have also noticed…”
The above true story has many lessons for us, not simply for the married people, but for all. For married people, you may realize that many of the problems we find in marriages may be due to couples not being spiritually on the same page. It takes spiritual agreement to be emotionally together. Love is a spiritual thing.
If there is discord in the spirit, there is likely going to be conflict in the physical realm of the people involved. Things are molded in the spirit and executed in the physical.
Prayer is the key to opening the realm of the spirit. The more we pray, the better we connect with God’s plan for us. Prayer has a way of molding us into that synergy of nature’s order.
Jesus shows an example of how best to lead; how best to plan; and how best to execute. The Gospel of Luke 6:12-19 reports that Jesus prayed all night before he started to select his apostles. Jesus’ pattern is this: Pray first and then begin the tasks of the day.
If you are consumed into messy and, many times, distressing relationships, duties or tasks; if you are wondering how to see the clearer light of the day in your paths; if you simply feel confused as to what next… how about trying prayer?
You would be surprised how a mountain of foggy vision would turn to a plain of clear sight and a garden of delight when God is consulted first.
May you be blessed with the grace of prayer. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.