Thursday, February 17, 2011

On Being Sandpaper

This is the third day in a row that I haven't seen Keith ... he's been shut up in Tilbury with the sickness that's been taking people out one by one: my roommate, various members of my program, a few others at the Newman Center. So far, somehow, I haven't gotten it. Hopefully it stays that way ... but I miss my fiance. A lot.

For whatever reason, I've been in A Mood the past week. (Or if I'm honest, it's probably been a little longer than that.) Not that I'm walking around with a cloud over my head, but I kindle at the slightest spark and can become a less-than-pleasant person to interact with over certain things.

It's actually pretty humbling.

I was talking to an old dear friend in MI who is getting married two weeks before me this summer--a beautiful conversation. Engagement is such an interesting place to live in: a waiting place, but also a present moment; your relationship isn't yet what it will be, and yet it has changed, is changing.

There are certain places where I know I need to grow if I'm going to be a good wife, and so my instinct is to hurry up and grow already, before July 16th. Get holy now. And while the desire to works towards the qualities and virtues that will make me a good wife is not a bad one, obviously, I feel that sometimes the impetus behind my sense of urgency is more pride than anything.

I have a lot to learn about marriage, and I know I won't learn most of it til after I'm in it. But I do know that marriage is about the sanctification of both spouses; and ultimately, that holiness and the ability to be a good wife is a matter of grace of state (which comes with the sacrament, not before) and practice (which I can get some of now, to be sure, but I will have LOTS more of it after getting married).

And here's the pride bit. I am perfectly willing to accept that my fiance will have flaws and weaknesses, some of which I won't discover til after we're married. But the thought of him putting up with my imperfections? Ooooh, that's tough. And if they're starting to come out now, how much more will he see after we're married?

But that is part of the gift given in marriage: a self that is, among other things, sinful and broken. The key is to give and receive with open eyes and clear sight. To know that sometimes we will be sandpaper to each other rather than silk, and those are the days when the rough edges can be smoothed away, so we're made smooth and perfect.

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