Today is the Feast of Joachim and Ann--the parents of Mary.
So, for you who think your day is pretty heavy--take a moment and think about Joachim and Ann--the parents of the Mother of God.
Talk about pressure???
Oh--and there was no electricity, running water, ready made food, drive thrus, washers, dryers, internal combustion-----you got the picture right?
History, tradition and written accounts describe a holy couple of the temple who were barren--without child.
Life is never, ever, what you think it will be.
It never unfolds the way you may want it to unfold--at least in an exact manner.
Life cannot be controlled by you.
You can't pick the conditions and accidents (Aristotelian) of your birth.
You can't pick the time you were born, the culture you were born into, or the parents who are your genetic pool.
Being born is a chaotic share in the power of creation.
What do parents do with it? ( I know my answer and I won't use this time as a public confession--suffice it to say that I need to confess my failings.)
If I were preaching a marriage ceremony today, I'd focus more on the model of Joachim and Ann.
In the accounts of their life--they lived in constant prayer, fasting, and keeping of the Laws of God.
The day to day prayer and fasting and seeking the way of Christ in your married life takes work. There are times you don't (public confession here) 'feel' like doing it. There are times of strong emotions and opinions and even words that detract and take you off track. But that is why we have models like Joachim and Ann. Think about it. Jesus is God made man--without sin. Mary is born without original sin--a human temple in preparation for the Incarnation. Why wouldn't the parent's of that mystical temple strive to be as holy as humanly possible?
As a therapist, whenever I was placed in a broken home--the issue that smacked me in the face on a daily basis was the absence of any parenting whatsoever. And because of that there was an absence of God. The abuses and mental health issues and other heinous happenings all stem from the absence of parenting
Now, here is the kicker--even in the families that appeared to 'have it together'--really didn't because the parents (single or both) weren't actively seeking God. Parents seek their own self gratification and/or escape from the reality and responsibility of being a parent.
When the active search for God wanes in the soul--the demonic begins to take up residence. Other things begin to fill up that search.
Sts. Joachim and Ann,
...pray for us parents.