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For Your Marriage

Timothy and Donna have been married for over fifteen years after meeting in the gambling tent while volunteering at their parish carnival.

An Attractive Couple

We were travelling down the highway on our way to spend a few days with our eighty-year-old uncle and his lovely bride, our seventy-eight-year-old aunt. Donna and I are good travelers and shared the driving duties with very few stops. Our travelling companion attracted all the attention on each of those stops. Jack is over one hundred pounds of lovable Labradoodle. People spot his head hanging out the car window or notice him stretching his legs at a rest-stop and their first reaction is to smile or approach him. This is the reaction we should strive to cause in others as we live out our vocations. We don’t even have to be canonized to do it.

Note that we didn’t name our dog Saint Jack. He can be a demanding neurotic with some obsessive-compulsive tendencies. (I wonder why my wife just asked if that sounds like anyone else I know?) Anyway, Jack has that Divine spark which shines through his “issues” and attracts others to the unobstructed joy in his heart.

The aunt and uncle we visited share this attraction. They have hosted many visitors over the years. Everyone wants to share their company regardless of where they are living or the size of their latest home. Family and friends flock to them like the crowds did to Jesus on Palm Sunday. Donna and I always tell them that we want to be like them when we grow up!

Those of us who know people with this attractive quality are blessed. Anyone can cultivate this quality. I am reminded of married couples I know with this attractiveness, but a single person in a relationship with God makes an attractive couple, as well. Many of us know the couple who all the young people gather around. They aren’t the ones who are cool or those who try to out-adolescent the teenagers. They are the couple who are kind and offer their home as an oasis of strength and stability in a desert of dysfunction. I was blessed by knowing just such a couple when I was young. They frequently took me into their home and into their hearts when I needed both. This same couple helped celebrate our wedding day and shared in the harvest they helped to sow.

Donna and I are good friends with a younger couple with whom we frequently visit. We are attracted by their heroic example of faith and fidelity while dealing with infertility. We still keep in touch with a husband and wife who are both in their nineties. The enduring example of their lifelong marriage attracted us and still does. They helped to celebrate our wedding day, as well. We all can be attractive couples if we let God shine through the cracks in our imperfect broken lives. Even a jackass can attract a crowd if it’s carrying Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.