Monday, February 27, 2012

Don't Talk About the End

Not a week into Lent, I'm already fighting my promise to give up the snooze button.  Still, in the last few years I've begun to see that fasting isn't about achieving perfection as much as opening ourselves up to grace and fortitude when we fall short.  During my engagement and now in my marriage, Lenten fasts have taken on a deeper meaning, because what is marriage but constantly denying myself for another person's sake?  If my marriage is meant to sanctify me over a lifetime, I've been trying lately to view these 40 days as an opportunity to remember that.

Married or not, dying to yourself is no easy feat.  When there's someone else in the picture with you, especially your spouse, it feels even harder sometimes.  I hate doing dishes.  I put off laundry until we're down to our last few pairs of socks and undies.  I get more snappish during arguments that I used to, somehow thinking that since my husband loves me unconditionally, I can say whatever I want to him (so not true).  I'm sure there are plenty of times to sacrifice that I completely bypass every day, but knowing that my marriage is meant to teach me how in such a constant way is hugely humbling. So far, my first married Lent is teaching me to look for ways to put myself aside for the Lord through Andrew, and to be at peace with the fact that it will be a long road, one that ends in Heaven.  Knowing this, it's less scary to think of failure.  How amazing is it that in spite failure after failure, we are so loved and are given the grace to keep at it?  A fiance, a husband, or anyone in your life, really, is a chance to be Love to someone else.

Jon Foreman, Learning How to Die, Lent, Dying to self, authentic love, Catholic wedding planning, Catholic wedding blog, Catholic bridessacrifice, marriage prep, love

I absolutely love the solo music Jon Foreman, the lead singer from Switchfoot, has done in the last few years.  In his song "Learning How to Die," he speaks so honestly to a fear of things ending, worrying that he hasn't spent his prior time well enough (that's his own handwriting right there!).  "Don't talk about the end," he says.  The end of our lives?  The end of a relationship?  This is what he's told to remember, though:

All along, thought I was learning how to take
How to bend not how to break
How to laugh not how to cry
But really
I've been learning how to die.

Sacrifice is learning how to die.  Love, marriage, all of it is.  And somehow also we're taught how to
live, to live outside of ourselves.  Total gift.

Listen to the song here!

Are your Lenten promises changing your relationship?

Next up: Honoring thy Mother and finding faith and reason in love

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