I recently took a 9 day pilgrimage to Betania, Venezuela where the church has approved several apparitions of the Blessed Mother to a woman who is now on her way to sainthood. This woman’s name is Maria Esperanza and we stayed on her property with her family and family friends while we were there.
Before leaving my home for the airport that Saturday morning, a book caught my eye and I decided to bring it with me for the 8+ hours that we would be spending in a plane that day. The book “The World’s First Love” by Ven. Fulton Sheen had been given to me months before by a good priest friend of mine and I hadn’t picked it up in a while.
Somewhere between Philadelphia and Venezuela I read a line that really blew my mind in an extremely simple way. It said
“It takes not two to love, but three: you and you and Jesus… Married couples ought to say the Rosary together each night, for their common prayer is more than the separate prayers of each”.
Being a 20 year old unmarried college student, I could be tempted to think that this quote holds no immediate relevance to my life. However, my first thought was quite the opposite; I realized that it holds an utmost importance to every person young or old no matter what their vocation is. What we do now prepares us for what is to come.
For those called to religious life or to the priesthood, you will benefit greatly from this because it is how you will court the church and learn the ways of faith before being brought into full consecrated union with her. A rich prayer life will lead to a fruitful ministry in your life-giving mission of saving souls.
If you are called to marriage; whether you are currently single or dating, this is a habit to start immediately. The single person has the duty of preparing themselves for what God wants from them through prayer and through action. By developing a prayer life, you are giving God the go-ahead to radically change your life for the better and consequentially bring you that much closer to the realization of your calling.
St Paul says “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is Gods will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians5:16-18.
Trust that God is working through your singleness to better prepare you for the happiness He has in store for you.
For those who are currently in a relationship, you should know that dating is a process of discernment leading towards marriage- couples who have this in mind should look ahead and realize that the habits they form at this stage will lead into what kind of marriage they will build. Couples who regularly pray together before they are married will have that deeply rooted groundwork set to carry them into an even more in-depth connection with one another together with our Lord.
In the gospel of Matthew Jesus tells us “truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:19-20
The power of the prayers of a husband and wife who choose not only to be one with each other but also with the Lord is something so beautiful and inconceivable. It is something to be desired and sought after. To have that other person you pray with for your petitions be the love of your life… now that is truly remarkable. That is the kind of love and commitment that will change our world.
Here is a short prayer for you that I picked up while in Betania: “Saint Anthony, make me blissful in my marriage. Grant me complete joy together with my spouse, for you visit those who marry.”- Servant of God Maria Esperanza. This can be prayed either in the anticipation or in the realization of your vocation.
I will be praying for all of you as you grow in this beautiful adventure of love with our Lord and with one another.
God loves you so much and so do I.
1 Corinthians 13