Happy Friday! I hope you all have had a good week and are looking forward to a fun, relaxing weekend that isn’t as hot as it will be here!
Thank goodness for my husband. Sometimes I’m not sure what he is thinking, but it usually turns out well.
We both have been complaining for more than 2 years, probably, that we needed a new printer. The printer we had was from Ben’s college days and he found it at a thrift shop. We had pretty much stopped printing anything because it seems to run on ink rather than electricity. Each time we had family come to visit we would have to purchase a new ink cartridge so that they could print their boarding passes. That’s about all the printing the printer would handle before claiming to be out of ink.
Instead of dealing with the root of the problem, we just stopped printing. Then, after a particular round of complaints last month (delivered by yours truly but without any real intention to replace the printer), Ben said, Let’s just go and get a new one this afternoon.
Now, usually when Ben makes an electronics purchase involves a few weeks of reading reviews, comparing products and prices. But this time was different. We went, he compared the few in the store, read a review or two on his phone, and made a decision. I minded the kids, knowing that his knowledge base in this area was better than mine. Though I was concerned we were making this purchase a little hastily. When I spoke to Ben about it, he was so confident that this was the right time and the selection he had made would fit our needs and budget.
I am so thankful that I trusted him, rather than arguing. We are homeschooling both John (kindergarten) and Rosie (preschool) this year. When we were struggling with the old printer, I hadn’t thought of the possible need I would have while working on schooling for the kids. With this new printer, I’ve printed already probably more than we had as a family 3 years! Even some things in color (please insert a shocked sound here).
Now this may seem like a simple, silly little story. But it illustrates a very valuable thing about the sacrament of marriage. Catholics believe that the 7 Sacraments (Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, Anointing of the Sick, and Reconciliation) are specific moments of God’s grace. Grace is all around us and God is always extending the gift of grace. However, we understand these sacramental moments to be time of specific grace, grace designed for a certain purpose. At Baptism, we are welcomed into the Church and original sin is washed away. We are given grace for our new journey as Christians on the way to heaven. At Anointing of the Sick, the person receiving the sacrament is anointed with blessed oil, symbolically putting on the armor of God. They are spiritually strengthened to face their illness, be it physical, emotional or psychological. In marriage, each spouse is gifted with specific grace for the other. Part of the covenant of marriage is a commitment to help one another journey to heaven. Each person’s journey is unique, but in Marriage the spouses journey together, called to become one.
I personally believe that Ben has been given specific grace by God that is for my benefit and growth. I believe I have been given grace in the same way for him. Though my printer story probably wouldn’t show up in a slide show of defining moments of my faith journey, it was an opportunity for me to recognize and respect the strengths that Ben has been given and the insights he has. Looking back, I could have fought his decision. I’m thankful that I resisted that temptation. 1, because now my life is way easier with the new printer. But more importantly, it was an opportunity to practice looking beyond myself and allowing the grace Ben has been given to flow through him and into our marriage. This was just a small thing. Someday, I’m sure there will be something much larger and more significant. I pray I will be able to recognize God’s grace working through him and instead of pridefully standing in its way, I will have the humility to let the grace of our shared sacrament bless our marriage.
If you are married, have you experienced any moments like this? If you aren’t, do you have any memories or experiences where you felt grace from a sacrament? Looking forward to hearing from you all!