Monday, September 3, 2012

...For Love's Sake



John Paul II quotes, marriage, love, freedom, catholic wedding

Happy Labor Day!  This three-day weekend has been gloriously good to us so far.  A movie in bed,  decking our walls with new artwork, Mass in an awe-inspiring cathedral, and hopefully today, a nice long hike.  Of course, it's not just about having an extra day off or saying goodbye to summer.  Today we remember that work has value and should honor human dignity.  It's got me thinking about the fact that so often, marriage is made out to be hard, unenjoyable work; a long and tedious haul.  

To me, that couldn't be further from the truth.  Of course, love isn't effortless.  It does take a lot of willpower sometimes to compromise on your wedding registry, do the dishes when you don't feel like it, and forgive with a full heart.  I guess it just bothers me when the world presents love as a burden, you know?  Love is, of course, more than a feeling.  It's learning how to die.

Good old JPII says it much better than me: "freedom exists for the sake of love."  I learn every day that when I lock myself into notions of his-and-hers chores, when my pride makes me act stubborn or defensive in response to Andrew's loving criticism and encouragement, or when I do acts of service with a sense of obligation rather than a generous heart, I am far from free.  I chain my own self to a sense of negativity and duty instead of opening myself to grace.  It's a constant lesson in love, one I aspire to excel in during this life even as I stumble.  Loving and being loved by someone in a pure, unselfish way really does set you free, and quite often, more often than I deserve, my relationship with Andrew feels like the furthest thing from work.  It feels like a gift I'm so happy to give him, a gift freely given and received.  Now, I figure if I can bring myself to feel that way about, say, laundry, it'll be considered growth.

How have you been celebrating this long weekend?  I'd love to know what you've been up to!

PS- I'm trying a new, more personal approach with the graphics here--that picture is of our wedding rings!  Feel free to pin it!


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