A life of matrimony, first and foremost, is not a life for themselves alone, but it is truly a life where each one decides to offer themselves in favour to the other, to God and to the Church.
A life of matrimony without the offering, in its deepest sense, as giving your life to the other, in happiness and sadness, abundance and poverty, “till death do us part”, it cannot truly be said as a matrimonial life.
I am missionary of Shalom Catholic Community currently living in London/UK. I have been married to my lovely wife, Josirene Souza, for over 11 years. Together we have learnt with one another the way of offering our lives to one another and to God and to His Will through Holy Matrimony. I can certainly tell you, in many situations, we had to decide to one another, because it is through the strong decision to one another, also shown in Jesus towards the Church, that resurrection comes. There is no other way. The way that leads to Heaven, to resurrection, to happiness and fulfilment of God’s plan is the cross. In Holy Matrimony we can certainly testify this way of death and resurrection, of offering and happiness.
Offering and Humbleness
In the matrimonial life the cross is shown whenever you have to give way your own will or life in favour for the other. “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me–nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (Lk 22: 42). These are the words taken from Luke’s description when Jesus in Getsemani suffers a great deal in a moment of profound suffering and offering before His passion and death. To live a life of Holy Matrimony is certainly to follow the same words of Jesus in Getsemani: “OK my dear, nevertheless, not my will, but your, be done”.
The gesture of humbleness is a way of embracing the cross and accepting the path to resurrection. We all know what comes after the cross, it surely comes resurrection. Jesus has shown the way.
Maturity and Self-understanding.
While writing these words it comes to my heart moments in my life with my lovely wife, when we had to make many compromises in order to make it to work. We surely have grown in maturity and self-understanding of one another, and thanks be God that is like that. Poor of us, if we had not grew in maturity and self-understanding. These two things gave us the direction to God’s Holy Will, to His plans to us.
Our true happiness and joy we can only find in Him, by living according to His Will to us. This is the secret of true happiness and joy.
To choose the little and meekness way
It is not money, goods, success in live, a successful and well-stablished career in a worldwide company located at a global and metropolitan city as London. No! That is all vanity and smoke. “Far from dazzling us, all these titles of nobility appeared to our eyes as smoke and vanity”, St Therese of Lisieux – The Little Flower. In this snippet of text taken from the book of Life of St Therese we can find the way to happiness and joy shown by a great saint who has chosen the little and meekness way.
In the midst of smokes and vanities of a life full of worldly riches and success we have found ourselves soaked in. That was not our true happiness and joy. Thankfully, God has guided us through the smoke. He has lead us to trust to His Divine Providence, to His Holy Will. I can surely testify that what it has brought us true happiness and joy is God’s Holy Will.
Be opened to God’s plan
Recently, just over a year or so, my wife and I decided to be opened to God’s plan to us. As mentioned before, God has chosen us to entrust ourselves in Him, in a more deeper way. He has asked us to entrust ourselves into the warm arms of His Divine Providence, in every sense of ours lives. So, after a long time of discernment with our Personal Formators and Local Authorities, with a spirit of prayer and discernment we have listed to God and decided to move to Portugal and live our missionaries and matrimonial lives there.
Of course, that involves a lot of work. You can imagine someone moving from one city to another, the amount of work it requires. To leave behind our well-settled life, our jobs, our house, friends and everything else, in order to embrace the new God has called us, is, many will say, craziness, but for those who believe in the way to true happiness and joy, in the way of resurrection that passes through the cross is God’s Wisdom. We are sure that God has a purpose for us there. We do not know what it is, or what is is to come, but we trust in Him.
Faith and courage
This decision to move to Portugal also talks to me when we first have decided to leave Brazil, our home country, behind and move to England, nearly 10 years ago. We were also afraid and the future ahead was uncertain (as uncertain and unsettle as the British weather – “joke”), but our hearts and faith were into God. We have entrusted into the Holy Spirit. He is the One who is able to give us the gift of faith and courage, as He has given to the apostles and disciples on the day of Pentecost. We need to beseech the Holy Spirit in our lives every single day, and most especially during these moments of uncertainty and fear, in order to believe in the new that God has decided to us. It is an act of faith. it is an act of entrusting to God
God first in our lives
My wife and I used to say to one another, “We don’t have anything, but we do have God first in our lives and we also have one another, that is enough for us”. Blessed be God for again having the same opportunity to make those prophetic words up to date in our lives. So far the Lord has been helping us, thanks be to God. And, shall we start all over again, because nothing or little we have done.
God has called us to a new “adventure”. He has called us to believe, to have faith and to follow Him. May our good Lord grants us the grace to pursue and long for His Holy Will and be faithful to it, till Heaven, “till death do us part”.
Clelio De Souza, member of Shalom Covenant Community. London/UK
(text has been written on the Solemnity feast day of Pentecost, May 2018).