I Knew

Over the last couple of weeks I shared the story of Fred, one of my Mr. Almost Rights.  I shared how we met and a little bit about our courtship.  I shared some of the external details and how things ended between us.  Given that background, today I will share with you what was going on inside my heart and my mind. 

Frustration

Looking back, letting go of this relationship was one of the hardest things I ever had to do because Fred looked very close to being The One.  But, the bottom line is I knew he was not The One.  I knew because I did not have peace about him. Instead, as things progressed, I felt frustrated by him. Rather than certitude, instead what I felt was frustrated by the power struggle going on between us.  There was a point where he turned inward and his heart turned tepid. And, instead of things getting better with time, things started to get worse until they fell apart 

In contrast, when I started to date my husband Gregg, I did not feel frustrated by him.  His passion toward me was constant and things just kept getting better. I never experienced self-doubt or a power struggle.  I was never tempted to chase him nor did I have any anxiety about the near or distant future.  I had a sense of certainty that I had never felt in these other relationships.   

With all these other relationships, I experienced self-doubt.  I found myself sharing relationship details (nothing personal) with my girl/guy friends and I would keep an eye out for their reaction.  I was searching for someone outside of myself to confirm what I was feeling inside. I was even tempted to subtly chase the guy.  I didn’t overtly chase but I did things that made me realize that I wasn’t the one being chased anymore. 

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I Knew  

But, there was something I knew in the midst of these failed relationships even before they fell apart.  I knew it was only a matter of time and I knew this from the beginning.  You see, even though I was frustrated, embarrassed, angry and hurt when things ended, I was not surprised.  Deep down, I knew.  I knew the guy was not The One but I still hoped it could somehow work out.  But why did he not love me enough and why did his feelings fade?

Love Is A Mystery

Here is something that is very hard to accept:  True love and attraction are mysteries.   Love just is or it just isn’t. It cannot be explained.  No matter how wonderful we are, we cannot manufacture true love and attraction.  And, this can be exasperating.

If you have been reading this site for a while then you will not be surprised when I mention, once again, the Veil.  It puts love in the spiritual realm where it belongs.  It is my way of explaining the mystery of love.

I Know

I have the advantage of hindsight and it is only with this advantage that I can see the difference between how things progressed with Gregg versus how things were with each of my Mr. Almost Rights.  But, I have stood where you are standing and I remember being subjected to the unknown .  I remember being afraid I would never have the chance at love again. I remember feeling left out in the cold on my own.  Please believe me when I say that I thank God (now) that things with Fred did not work out. 

I know it is not easy to accept when a relationship falls apart.  I know how frustrating it can be and how easy it is to blame the guy.  It is tempting to blame him for not trying hard enough and not choosing to love you.  I know how easy it is to blame yourself and how it feels when that self-doubt sets in. I remember believing that if he had tried harder (or if I had) then maybe it would have worked out. I know how embarrassing it is to have a relationship publicly go south and then that same guy goes on to marry someone else.  I know

You Must Walk The Path

Even though I knew deep down that Fred (and all the other Mr. Almost Rights) was not The One, I still had to walk the path to find out.  It was only in hindsight that my initial instincts could be confirmed.  You must also walk the path.  You must pray for wisdom to discern the relationship and recognize when it is time to let go.  In order to do this, Chastity is required.

Chastity

The only reason I was able to discern the relationship with Fred accurately was because of the freedom resulting from my commitment to Chastity.  If I had slept with him, I would have been unable to let the relationship go due to the natural attachment and bonding resulting from sex.  It would have clouded my judgment.  And, contrary to what some believe, the sex would not have magically changed the outcome.  There is nothing that would have made Fred love me enough nor keep his heart from turning.

The Veil

Love and attraction are a mystery.  The mystery can confound you when it slips through your hands.  But, the mystery will completely overwhelm you with joy, gratitude and awe when it is yours to behold.

Wait on the Lord.  Wait on the mystery that is love.  When it is yours, you will know.  I know it is hard.  You remain in my prayers.

God love and bless you!

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Merge Your Body And Soul

The more our bodies and our souls sing the same song, whose notes were written by the Creator, the better the chance that the two complementary sexes will create beautiful music.”

Dr. Alice von Hildebrand

Man and Woman ~ A Divine Invention

 

I know the idea that attraction is purely physical is cemented into most of our minds because of our culture’s obsession with obtaining physical perfection.  But, it is a lie.  In the first part of this myth buster, I discussed the problem of having our body and our souls disconnected.  I touched on how important it is to have harmony between our body and our souls and how this harmony enables us to properly relate to the opposite sex. 

A critical goal for all of us to achieve is to reharmonize and merge our body and our soul.  Today I will present ideas for obtaining this harmony through the healing of our spiritual soul and taking care of our physical body with a balanced approach. 

BalanceBalance

Remember disharmony will occur when you emphasize one aspect of yourselves more than the other.  This emphasis will cause you to attract and be attracted to men who also emphasize that one aspect of you.  In other words, if you emphasize and focus on your body, then the men you date will do the same.  If you emphasize your soul at the expense of your body, then the men will potentially only feel a sisterly affection toward you rather than spousal love.  It is important to be in balance so that you, the whole person, can love and be loved. 

Only In Heaven

“The body, formed in the image of God, and the soul, which has adopted the Spirit of the Father, in harmony, make up the perfect human being.” 

Saint Irenaeus (2nd Century)

I don’t want to mislead you into thinking that you will not be able to attract your husband until you have your body and soul perfectly merged. None of us will be perfectly harmonized until we are in heaven!  But this should not discourage us from making a serious effort toward this goal right now.  You definitely want to be ready when you do meet your husband.  So, what can you do in the meantime?

Think Long-Term

When approaching dating and marriage, you must think long-term. Remember the one that God has for you is looking for a person, not just a body. So, don’t allow yourself to focus on your body. And don’t allow a man to marry you for your physical attractiveness. This is a huge risk. I cannot tell you how many times I have witnessed this pattern: Guy falls for the attractive, sexually available girl, they have sex, they get married (or they break up), they contracept, they divorce. This is the future vacuum discussed the first part of this myth buster. 

You may feel very flattered to have a guy fall all over you because of your physical appearance but you must not allow yourself to be sucked in to this type of relationship.  One strategy for protecting yourself from this type of relationship is……Chastity!

Chastity

Chastity is the force that pulls the body and the soul into union and creates the fullness of the intimacy of persons so they can love and be loved.

“Seeing each other, as if through the mystery of creation, man and woman see each other even more fully and distinctly than through the sense of sight itself, that is, through the eyes of the body. They see and know each other with all the peace of the interior gaze, which creates precisely the fullness of the intimacy of persons.”

Blessed Pope John Paul II, Theology of the Body 13:1

Chastity allows you to keep your head on straight in the relationship so that you can accurately judge the quality and direction of the relationship. It allows your body and your soul to sing the same song and make beautiful music with your husband!

Take Care of Your Body

We all need to strike a balance when it comes to taking care of our bodies.  Your body, no matter how flawed you think it may be, is a miraculous gift from God. We must take care of all our gifts, including our bodies. We should never feel hatred toward our body. But, we must also not go overboard and make our bodies an idol.  

Exercise and eating right are important. If you happen to struggle with gluttony (most humans do), then add to your daily prayer list a fervent request to be released from that bondage. I have certainly had to add it to my prayer list!  And I can say it definitely helps so use this powerful tool!

Your physical attributes can be easily enhanced by good hygiene habits. I have very simple advice for you when it comes to taking care of yourself physically:  Don’t smoke (smoking wreaks havoc on your skin and your teeth!), drink lots of water and for heaven sakes use SPF, moisturize and exfoliate your skin!  Seriously, that is it!

If you are already doing all these things to enhance your natural physical attributes, then start to evaluate your soul.

I finally realized that taking care of my soul was key to having a healthy relationship with my body. Once I returned to the Catholic Church and started living a prayerful and Sacramental Life, my body and my soul started to merge. The merger is still taking place today and requires constant prayer.

Take Care Of Your Soul

Your soul needs grace because grace is the only medicine that heals us and brings us into harmony. Here are our resources to the fount of grace:

  • Confession
  • Mass
  • Receive the Precious body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus in the Eucharist
  • Eucharistic Adoration
  • Read Holy Scripture
  • Read Holy Blogs and books
  • Only participate in holy Conversations
  • Protect your mind from media that further severs your body from your soul
  • Commit to Chastity
  • Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet
  • Pray daily and lay your needs before the Lord
  • Thank the Lord for your body, your health and your fertility
  • Attend a Healing Mass
  • Consecration yourself to Jesus through Mary (Louis de Montfort’s Total Consecration to Mary)

RXPrescription

Take care of your body and your soul. Have a balanced approach.  Seek healing from the Lord. Participate in His merging plan for you. Keep your body and soul harmonized with prayer, Chastity and a sacramental life of grace. Then, wait on the Lord. 

God love and bless you!

Next Week

One surprise I hope you all will look forward to is Gregg’s input on this topic.  Next week, he will provide his experience concerning this myth from a guy’s point of view.  I will be doing the typing but the post will be from him.  So stay tuned!

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Praying For Your Husband

Woman In Love BookI have been dying to post this book review ever since I finished this book back in September.  Katie Hartfiel’s book “Woman In Love: Redefine The Journey Toward Your Husband To Be” is one of the best books I have read regarding practical and spiritual advice to single women.  

I immediately knew that Katie was my kind of girl when I noticed she used the word Superabundance’ several times in her book.  Although she applied the term a little differently than I do, I was impressed because it is a word that is not often used. 

Okay, where do I begin?  I will break the book down into three main points and try not to give away too much:

  1. It is a proactive approach to the vocation of marriage
  2. It is her personal story and therefore it held my interest
  3. It is a complete catechesis on Chastity

A Proactive Approach To Marriage

St Michael The ArchangelNow by proactive I don’t mean aggressive.  I mean she got down to business!  She wisely chose to participate, through prayer, in the spiritual well-being of her unknown future husband.  She proactively started praying for him when she was 17 years old. 

Her prayer was not “God please give me a husband!” or “God, please give me ‘that’ husband!”  It was, instead, “God please bless and protect my husband.”  And, her prayers were honored.   

This, to me, is the best quote from her book:

The most important thing you can do for your spouse is pray for him.  Crawl into the trenches of the spiritual battle raging over his soul and be a warrior for him.”

Goodness, I wish I had this insight when I was 17!  I may not have had to wait 38 years to be married.   I can accept that it may have been God’s will for Gregg and me to have a delayed marriage vocation, but if I had known the power of this prayer, I could have positively impacted Gregg in his earlier years.  I could have crawled into the battle and been a warrior for him!!

But, I didn’t.  However, you can!

A Personal Testimony

Katie was honest about her story.  She did not have her spiritual strength handed to her on a silver platter but instead went through suffering and doubt.  God had to unlock her heart. 

Katie wrote, “The process of discerning our vocation molds us.”  She admitted that, “the time leading up to the revelation of God’s will can sometimes be seemingly torturous.”  An understatement indeed!

A Key Decision

She did a very wise thing, in my opinion, which set the course for her life.  She was determined to attend The Franciscan University of Steubenville.  Every single person that I have met who attends or attended Steubenville has impressed me with their love of the Lord and their solid Catholic identity and foundation.  This one decision seems, to me, to have been a driving force in the revelation of her future vocation.  She met Mark, her husband, at Steubenville practically on her first day!

What if she had attended some public college (like I did)?  Think of all the secular guys she would have met.  Her heart, which needed to be unlocked, could have hardened and locked up even more from all the hazards awaiting her there.  Her life today would have potentially been totally different!

Sometimes Our Wounds Protect Us

Katie met Mark, her future husband, at Steubenville and they immediately were interested in each other.  But, Katie was suffering from her parent’s recent divorce which caused her, out of fear, to keep her feelings for Mark hidden.  In other words, she did not chase him or overtly reveal her feelings for him.  She did, however, sweetly respond to his courageous initiation

After a while, Mark initiated their ‘relationship talk’ because her struggles with herself  “caused her to hesitate and prevented her from chasing Mark.”  It is amazing how God can even use our wounds as a natural protection.  As women, our reserved and silent, but sweet, response to a man’s initiation can often force a man (that loves us) to reveal his feelings.

Beyond Expectations

I can relate to Katie when she  wrote, “My expectations paled in comparison to what the Lord had in store for me.”  God knows what we need and in my case as well surprised me beyond my expectations with my husband, Gregg.

Katie thought she would have to “Choose between a man who was a strong spiritual leader and one she was attracted to” but happily reported that “Mark fit the needs of her soul while simultaneously captivating her on every level.”  She wrote that, “God chose Mark as His vessel to save her from herself.”

I can also relate to this!  I thought I would have to choose between a strong spiritual leader and a man I was attracted to.  But, to my surprise, Gregg met all of my hopes and needs

A Complete Catechesis on Chastity

Katie somehow packed a complete catechesis on Chastity in her book.  And, she made the information relevant and easy to understand.  She explained that chastity is a ‘yes, yes, yes’  as well as the Sacramental component of a chaste marriage.  She covered the bonding hormone oxytocin, STD’s, the problem with contraception, the benefits of NFP, reconciliation and much more.  She answered the question “How far is too far?” and provided rules for singles that are logical and clear.  She displayed a solid understanding of the Church’s teaching on Chastity as well as Theology of the Body.  Finally, she included quotes from Blessed John Paul II and others concerning marriage and chastity.

Help Lead Men To Holiness

Without  coming off as judgmental, Katie gives girls the straight facts on supply and demand, respect and holiness.  This quote nicely summarizes her wisdom:

“For every guy who gets what he is looking for, there is a girl who is giving it to him.  If women begin to demand respect, men would be more inclined to offer it.  Help lead men to holiness.”

Katie’s book also includes insights from Mark.  This quote was my favorite one from Mark because it parallels the terms and concepts I use in my book and on this blog :

“When the man that God has for them comes along, he will be captivated by this purity and it will be utterly beautiful to him.  He will never forget how superabundantly blessed his is to have such an amazing woman.”

I clearly do not own the rights to the term Superabundance or the concept of a Holy  Spouse.  But I think it is amazing that Mark and Katie applied the term and concept in a way that aligns with how I apply the term and concept.

Holy Spouse

Note that Mark wrote, “when the man that God has for them comes along…”.  To me, he reinforced the idea that God arranges marriage and has a specific person in mind for us in accordance with His will.  This is what I call our ‘Holy Spouse’ This concept among believers is not often discussed with such certitude.  Virtually all the books I have read concerning chastity and marriage seem to lead the reader to believe that God leaves it completely and sadly, up to chance.  Woman In Love will fill your heart with hope!

Katie and Mark Wedding

Katie and Mark on their Wedding Day
Gorgeous Dress and Veil!

Superabundance

Mark’s quote also described what I believe happens as a result of chastity before and within marriage.  The husband has this supernatural view of his wife.  He is “captivated” by her and she is, despite her faults, “utterly beautiful” to him.  And, he has a perpetual belief in how blessed he is to have her. 

As a result of the Superabundance in a chaste marriage, my observation is that the husband’s love for his wife grows rather than diminishes with time.  This, I believe is a result of the supernatural grace imparted during the chaste marital embrace.  The Catholic Church teaches us that this is a renewal of our Sacramental wedding vows and that supernatural grace is imparted.

Get. This. Book!  You will learn so much and be inspired to get in to the trenches and pray for your future husband! 

You can join Katie on Facebook here .  Go to Katie’s website to order her book.  There is a special bulk order price!  Also, while you are there, check out the video of Katie and Mark and you will be further inspired!

Her book is available on Amazon in soft cover  or for only $9.99 through Kindle.

** Next week: Mythbuster #3:  Something Is Wrong With Me

God Bless!

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Our Catholic Love Story, Part 2

Last week, Anabelle shared Part 1 our love story on her blog, Written By The Finger Of God.  But my husband, Gregg, may have (understandably) felt a tad bit left out because the majority of what I shared was about me and God.  My hope was to glorify God, Who is my first Love.  So the overall focus of Part 1 was on God and His healing.   

Part 2, however, is about our courtship which, to me, can only be fully appreciated in light of the details in Part 1.  So, head on over to Anabelle’s blog first and read Part 1 if you don’t already know the details!  Part 2 is lengthy so grab some coffee and a snack!

Run Toward Jesus

Upon meeting single Catholics, Gregg tells them to ‘run toward Jesus and then look around and see who is beside you.’  This, we both believe, is the best way to know that a potential spouse is the one God intends for you.  I believe that is what happened with us.  We were both members of an on-line Catholic dating site.  This was an indication of our desire to meet and marry someone who shares our faith.  Participation in a Catholic-specific dating site is one method of eliminating the rest of the world that is not running toward Jesus.

The Beginning

Gregg contacted me in August 2001.  He later revealed that he loved my picture and my profile.  He also thought it was cool that I am a mechanical engineer involved in the design of Naval aircraft.  He is a big aviation nut so this part of my profile was intriguing to him.

Within a couple of weeks from that first email, the tragic events of 9/11 happened.  Gregg, knowing that I lived close to the Pentagon and supported the military, was not sure if I was harmed by the terror attacks. Thankfully, I wasn’t.

As soon as phone service returned that week, we spoke on the phone for the first time.  I could tell this guy was different and I had a feeling our courtship was going to be different.  And, it was!  Gregg pursued me with a great deal of courage and chivalry.  I was sincerely overwhelmed.

The Courtship

Gregg flew to Virginia from Kansas four months later in January 2002.  He, of course, stayed in a hotel.  I had a feeling after our four days together that this courtship was a “go.”

The four months between our first contact and our first meeting in-person gave us the opportunity to get to know each other simply through conversation. We talked and talked about everything (and still do).  I found him to be interesting, smart, sweet, kind and very impressive!

What impressed me was the way he pursued and wooed me.  I have souvenirs of our courtship ranging from love letters and emails to teddy bears and jewelry.  The necklace he sent to me for Christmas (even before meeting in person) was beautiful.  It had a very delicate a rosary-like design with these gorgeous little bluish-grey pearls and a pendant of the Virgin Mary.  So elegant.  I wore it in our wedding along with the matching earrings he had specially made for me.

The souvenirs were nice and flattering but what was really impressive was his strong interest in me and his willingness to go outside and beyond himself in order to get to know me.  Keep in mind, our courtship was completely long–distance.  But, he rose to the challenge.  He was willing to prove that he would be a wonderful husband.  And he succeeded! 

For example, his house was located in an area with weak cell phone reception.  Once he met me, he would get in his vehicle and drive 5 miles to a location with reception.  He did this just so he could talk to me after work.  This was a strong clue to me that he was not a lazy or selfish guy.

The Pursuit

His courtship and pursuit were unlike anything I had ever experienced.  Oh, I had relationships and plenty of dates.  But those guys (affectionately known as my ‘stupid old boyfriends’ ~ LOL) were lame and inconsistent in their pursuit.  I have more stories about them to entertain you in my book, but suffice it to say, their efforts were lame-O (bless their poor little blinded-by-the-Veil hearts!).

Gregg, on the other hand, was trying to pull me towards his heart and into his life.  Right after our first meeting, he invited me to his hometown to meet his family and friends.  By the time I arrived, on Valentine’s Day 2002, his family and friends knew all about me and did everything in their power to welcome me and let me know that Gregg was head over heels for me.  Just like him, his family and friends were (and are) wonderful!

It was a romantic weekend which included Mass, of course, a NASCAR party hosted by his friends and a gig with his part time rock band.  Yes, Gregg was not only into his faith, sweet, kind and interesting, gainfully employed and a homeowner, he was also a talented musician.  I had to pinch myself.  I was hooked.

The Attraction of Chastity

Gregg knew, based on my profile, that I was different.  My profile stated that I taught 7th grade Catechism and Chastity.  Oh, did I mention our physical attraction?  Suffice it to say, it was (and still is) verrry strong.  We both knew that this physical attraction would need to be supported with the virtue of chastity.  If you ask Gregg, this was a major attraction for him.  No other girl he knew had this commitment to our Lord or to waiting until marriage.  He knew he had found something special in me and was highly motivated to win me over.  And, he did!

We are engaged!

The Engagement and Wedding

Let’s see, by my Valentine’s Day visit we were talking on the phone daily and “love” had been spoken.  He came back to visit me in early April and met my family.  They adored him and he immediately loved them.  

We began talking about marriage and engagement R.I.N.G.s (a story for another time).  He wanted to know my requirements for color, cut, clarity and caret size.  My goodness, this wonderful guy was planning on proposing to me!  I really did not have any major engagement ring requirements in light of that wonderful fact.  But, he wanted to know in order that I would be happy.  Another very good sign of a very good and considerate man.

I visited him again on May 2nd and he proposed.  Oh, and yes the ring was perfect and stunning.  Wedding plans began and we were married October 19, 2002.

Beyond My Hopes And Dreams

You can tell a lot about a man simply by observing him in the courtship phase.  Why is this important?  I think it is important because there are a lot of women who are disappointed in their husbands.  I wonder what they could have noted in the courtship phase that could have been a warning to them of what to expect in marriage?

A kind man in courtship will be a kind man in marriage.  A sacrificial and unselfish man in courtship will be a sacrificial and unselfish man in marriage.  A man deeply dedicated to the Lord and his faith in courtship will be the same in marriage.  And so forth.  A man’s character very rarely changes so it is wise to pay attention to his character during the courtship phase.

I will give you two examples of Gregg’s character, both of which happened in the last 48 hours.  Yesterday (as I write this) was a first Friday of the month and our church hosted Eucharistic Adoration.  It was our day off from work so I planned to go and adore our Lord for an hour.  I asked Gregg if he would like to join me but he said, “I would love to but I have ‘day off’ tasks I need to get done.”  So, I happily headed up to the church by myself.  As I was there adoring my Lord, Gregg walked in and joined me. I felt like the luckiest girl alive.

The second example happened just a few moments ago.  Today is Saturday (as I write this) and Gregg had to run an errand about 2 hours from our home.  He was sort of close to my Mom’s house so he called her and is taking her and my sister out to lunch.   There were many ways he could have spent his Saturday, but he chose to spend it with my Mom and sister (who are also wonderful).

Gregg displayed these same character traits during the courtship phase.  You get the picture.  Keep your eyes wide open before marriage.

The Healing

The Holy Spirit constantly carries out this work in the most interior part of our being with wonderful subtlety and the delicacy of a wholly divine art.”     St Bernard of Clairveau

In Part 1, I discussed the healing that took place prior to meeting Gregg.  Along with the Sacraments, God continues to heal me through what I believe is a very effective method –  our family.  I believe the love of my husband heals me.  Being a Mom heals me in a way that only a child can do. 

A little healer.

Our love story would not be complete without making a connection to Chastity.  Not only does Chastity prevent us from damaging ourselves spiritually, emotionally and physically, it is also critical to our healing after marriage.  The marital embrace, when we are open to life, heals us.   Isn’t that crazy and beautiful?  God is a genius!

And, of course, I believe Chastity leads to the good fruit of Superabundance.  This good fruit includes children and many other common human desires such as faithfulness, devotion, sacrifice, reliability, gentleness, constancy, affection, admiration, freedom, security, peace, compassion and protection.  The Catechism also teaches us that in the case of marriage, the practice of chastity (remaining open to life) naturally leads to patience, temperance, prudence, honesty and trust.  These good fruits cannot help but heal us. 

I am not saying that Chastity guarantees that you will become a wife and a mother.  But, I do believe that the Lord is committed to healing you.  Work with Him and let the Holy Spirit, with His wonderful subtlety and delicacy of a wholly divine art, heal you.  He may just surprise you beyond all your hopes and dreams.  I pray He does.

God bless!

Does God Arrange Marriages?

Today, my husband and I celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.  In my book, I share my path through singleness.  I also share the story of how God arranged for me and Gregg, my Holy Spouse, to meet and marry. 

The premise of my book and of this blog is the idea that we are all covered by a veil and that only our Holy Spouse can see us.  All other suitors will reject us because they cannot fully see us. 

I define our Holy Spouse as the one that God intends for us to marry.  Given that definition, it is clear that I believe God arranges marriages.  Is there any biblical evidence to support my belief?  Let’s look at the Book of Tobit.

Book of Tobit

This is a beautiful story of God’s healing power and His providential hand in marriage. Goodness me, there are so many great lessons in this divinely inspired book!  I will only be able to cover  the highlights but I hope these fascinating events build your faith and confidence in God’s intimate and tender care for us.

Tobit and Tobias

Tobit was a righteous Israelite of the Tribe of Naphtali who was blinded when bird droppings fell into his eyes.  Tobit had a son, Tobias.  He sent Tobias to the land of Media.  Tobias was accompanied by the Archangel Raphael and his dog.

Sarah

Meanwhile, in faraway Media, a young woman named Sarah prayed for death. She had lost seven husbands to the demon of lust, Asmodeus, who abducted and killed every man she married on their wedding night before the marriage can be consummated. God, in response to Tobit’s prayer and Sarah’s prayer, sent the Archangel Raphael, disguised as a human, to heal Tobit (from his blindness) and to free Sarah from the demon.

Isn’t that amazing?! Sarah married 7 different men.  The demon of lust, however, killed them all on the wedding night before the marriage could be consummated!  Interesting!  That is some mighty intervention!  And, it appears that God allowed evil to ‘do its thing’ in order for His holy will to be accomplished.

Sarah had lost seven husbands and was very understandably distraught.  She wished to die.  Her friends taunted her and said, “You husband killer! Look at you! You’ve already had seven husbands, but not one of them lived long enough to give you a son.”  Tobit 3:8

But, Sarah remembered her poor Father and how ashamed and inconsolable he would be if she were to hang herself.  So, she prayed instead.

God Hears The Prayers of Tobit and Sarah

“So the prayers of them both were heard before the majesty of the great God.” Tobit 3:16

As Tobit and Sarah were praying, God in heaven heard their prayers and sent his angel Raphael to help them. He was sent to remove the white film from Tobit’s eyes, so that he could see again, and to arrange a marriage between Sarah and Tobit’s son Tobias.  Raphael was also ordered to expel the demon, Asmodeus, from Sarah.

In one fell swoop, in response to Tobit’s and Sarah’s prayers, God:

  1. heals Tobit of his blindness and heals Sarah of the curse from the demon of lust
  2. arranges a marriage between Sarah and Tobias, and
  3. commands His Archangel Raphael to expel the demon of lust!

The Archangel Raphael escorts Tobias to Media

The Healings

Along the way to Media, while washing his feet in the river Tigris, he (Tobias) was attacked by a fish which tried to swallow his foot. By order of the angel (Raphael) he captured it. The heart, liver and gall bladder were removed to make medicines, also by order of Raphael.

Upon arriving in Media, Raphael told Tobias of the beautiful Sarah.  He instructs the young man to burn the fish’s liver and heart to drive away the demon when he attacks on the wedding night.

The two are married, and the fumes of the burning organs drove the demon (Asmodeas) away to Upper Egypt, while Raphael followed him to bind him.  Raphael also told Tobias to use the fish’s gall to cure his father’s blindness.

What are the medicines that heal us of our blindness and allow us to see God’s will today?  God imparts his powerful grace and heals us through the Sacrament of Marriage, the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Confession, the sacred sacrifice of the Mass, the Holy Eucharist and the Precious Blood of Jesus, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, prayer, fasting, scripture and sacrifice.  These are our medicines today.

Did you know that God also heals us through the marital embrace?  Yes, the marital embrace is a renewal of our wedding vows and this very holy act heals us and imparts grace into our marriage!

What binds the demon of lust for us today?  Chastity.

The Marriage

Pray to God which is merciful, who will have pity on you, and save you: fear not, for she is appointed unto thee from the beginning; and thou shalt preserve her, and she shall go with thee. Moreover I suppose that she shall bear thee children.  Now when Tobias had heard these things, he loved her, and his heart was effectually joined to her.””  Tobit 6:17

Translated, here is what the Archangel Raphael said, “Don’t be afraid. Sarah was meant to be yours from the beginning of creation. You will rescue her from the demon, and she will go with you to your home. You and Sarah will have many children, whom you will love very much. So don’t worry!”  Did you notice Tobias response?  He loved her.  His heart was effectually (thoroughly) joined to Sarah’s.  I contend that was the moment the veil was lifted and Superabundance poured in!

Raguel, Sarah’s Father, said, “I will give her to you just as the Law of Moses commands. God in heaven has arranged this marriage, so take her as your wife. From now on, you belong to each other. Sarah is yours today and forever. May the Lord of heaven keep both of you safe tonight. May he be merciful and kind to you.”  Tobit 7:12

Meeting our Holy Spouse will not be a coincidence.  Beautiful scripture says that you and your Holy spouse were appointed unto each other from the beginning and that God in heaven has arranged your marriage.

You may wonder, as I have, how exactly does God work it all out given the fact that we have the gift of free will?  I guess the power of grace, when we are open to it, influences us.  And our guardian angels can whisper in our ears and move us in specific directions.  God knows ahead of time what we will do.  God allows for events to influence us and somehow all the stars align at the right time.  

I don’t know how He did it, but I am convinced that God arranged our marriage too.

Gregg and I met through a single catholic dating website.  We were both 37 years old and neither of us had ever been married.  We were both feeling a bit like Sarah.  The world was looking at us as if there was something wrong with us and we had plenty of past relationship “deaths” to speak of.  Despair was biting at our heels.

Gregg first contacted me in Aug 2001.  He lived in Kansas and I lived in Virginia. Our meeting was not a coincidence.  We were engaged in May 2002 and married in October 19, 2002.  We had the most beautiful, holy wedding.  And, we have a beautiful, holy marriage.

The Archangel Raphael expels the demon of lust. Tobias and Sarah pray to the Lord. Notice the dog.

Expelling the Demon of Lust

“But before you consummate the marriage, both of you must get up and pray for the Lord in heaven to be merciful to you and to protect you.”  Tobit 6:15

Check out the gorgeous painting of the Archangel Raphael binding Asmodeas, the demon of lust!  Today, the medicine and remedy to lust is Chastity, both before marriage and within marriage.  We are co-creators with God and we are not allowed to shut Him out of this important aspect of our marriage.  We must remain open to life.  We must expel the demon of lust through the power of Chastity.

Stay in God’s Will

I noticed that Tobias was brought to Sarah.  She did not have to chase him.  She prayed and responded to his initiation.  She fought back the temptation to go against God’s will.  And God worked it all out in His time.

God knows who you will marry and He can arrange your meeting if you stay in His will.  Staying in His will means bathing your life and your soul in the medicines He provides.  If you have strayed from Him, turn around and confess it.  Start living a Sacramental life.  If you have strayed from a chaste life, turn around, confess it and recommit your ‘gift of self’ to the Lord.  Then, wait on your Holy Spouse and wait on our good Lord. 

October 19, 2002 Praise be to God!

Happy Anniversary, Gregg.  Thank you for 10 wonderful years.  Thank you, Lord for arranging our marriage from the beginning of creation.

God Bless!