the Mr. & Mrs.

Vocation to love

This picture speaks volumes to me of this beautiful Scripture passage, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13: 7. I was still in a wheelchair during my earlier stages of recovery from a hot-air balloon accident. Brendon cared for me 24-7 and nothing was too big of an obstacle for him to allow me to soak in the beauty of God’s creation…and for those brief moments forget about my injury. More of that story to come. However, I thought the photo appropriate for what I am about to share.

On February 20, Brendon and I started our preparation phase of the 33 days in the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary by St. Louis de Montfort. It’s been 4 days in and when my mom asked me if I was noticing any graces, I shrugged. Honestly, it seemed like nothing had changed. True, I felt a deep peace as Brendon and I prayed together every night, but other than that, the normal stress of everyday + wedding planning were still there.

I think that is how God works in our souls…when we least expect it, in subtle and mysterious ways. Lately, I’ve cried often. I’ve been overwhelmed, stressed, and above all worried about a million and one things…and all at once. Hmm yes, the gift of being a woman. An aspect that drives Brendon crazy. So inevitably, these days have been ones of incredible virtue on his part. Moments like these are especially difficult in a long-distance relationship. We’re now discovering more and more about each other. The good, the bad, the pretty, the ugly…the habits and mindsets…and that as compatible as we are, we’re also surprisingly very different in some aspects. I’m discovering so much about myself through these moments…and how much of the “bad” and “ugly” I have that I hadn’t noticed. I once read somewhere that a priest preached, if you want to know how selfish you are, get married. And if you need a more frequent reminder, have children.

I think I now understand a little more how a vocation to marriage…and more specifically my vocation to be Brendon’s wife, is a calling to bring each other to heaven. Not only is there the aspect of loving and accepting your spouse’s imperfections, but more so, the constant challenge of love that demands you to love him/her over and beyond yourself. It’s taking that innate self-bubble and extending it…turning my eyes, so turned in on myself, to have “only eyes for him”. The beautiful thing about it is that deep down, despite the cost to myself, it’s what I want and what makes me most happy. Because it is loving him. It’s positive encouragement which focuses on choosing to love him rather than on letting go of me. When the focus is changed, so is the attitude…and I could not have imagined a more perfect way to battle my struggles than what God has planned for me through marriage. Motivated by love, for love, and through love. Since God is love, the more we live in love, the more we live in God, and therefore, draw closer to heaven…together.

I now realize how weak I am in living this and how much grace and heavenly strength I will need to fulfill my vocation. My idealistic dreams of what I thought love and married life would be like aren’t as picture perfect as a Disney movie. Of course I knew that in my head but it was another thing for reality to finally dawn on me through real life events that directly affected me. I realize how much I need this consecration and prayer/sacramental life more than ever…and it is precisely THAT which is the mysterious and subtle grace God has been giving me.

Please pray for us as we continue to prepare to consecrate ourselves and our relationship to Our Lord through Mary!
As well, please share  your reflections with me!

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  • Reply Jessica Leung

    Hi there, I came across your blog while researching for a story on long distance relationships. Would you be interested in being featured in the article? If so, please get in touch and I will send over some questions for you. Also, the phone call illustration that you have on the blog is really cute, where is it from?
    Hope to hear from you soon, thanks. – Jessica

    November 16, 2011 at 5:59 pm
    • Reply Brendon

      I’m sure we could help in some way. Let us know what you need, Jessica.

      November 20, 2011 at 10:04 am
  • Reply Brendon

    Aunt Carol, we can only pray to be as happy as you and uncle Philip along our journey. Maria, your life is changing now, significantly, and I need everyone who reads this to know that you are such a brave, strong and generous young woman to give up your life as you know it, and you deserve the occasional panic attack. What a lovely post, my love, thank you.

    February 25, 2011 at 7:52 am
  • Reply Carol Brown

    Philip & I will be celebrating our 30th anniversary this summer and the quote ” if you want to know how selfish you are, get married. And if you need a more frequent reminder, have children.” made me smile. Could not have said it better. We have been blessed in so many ways and I have been so thankful every minute of these 30 years that I just want this for everyone I know who has been called to marriage. Reading your blog gives me great confidence that you & Brendon are going to feel this way in 30 years too. Faith, courage, peace and love from these Browns .xo

    February 25, 2011 at 7:11 am
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