Grateful For Forty Years

This is the day the Lord has made for me and Anabelle. Forty years ago today, we exchanged our marital vows. In those years, I have learned what it meant for two hearts to become as one. We have shared both laughter and tears, joys and sorrows. We have known each other like no one else have. Yet, we remain two distinct and different persons. Yet, there is still a lot to learn about each other.

Forty years is a lifetime. I am grateful for all the graces and blessings Anabelle has brought into my life. One close friend has said it all once when she said that I cannot really count my blessings unless I start with Anabelle. I could not have gone this far in life without her by my side. Even the most ordinary and mundane things become extraordinary and memorable because I do and share these with her.

By their fruits, you shall know them. I only have to look at our three sons to be affirmed in the love Anabelle and I have for each other. And with her, the love keeps on growing in ever widening circles of service and commitment. I love the ministry we have shared in preparing young couples for marriage and, today, in preparing young people to receive the sacraments.

It has been a wonderful life and I bow down my head in amazement at the wondrous deeds the Lord has wrought in our lives, in humble realization that we did not really deserve any of these blessings and that they have been given us as pure gift, in deep gratitude for such abundant and overflowing grace totally undeserved and unmerited, in heartfelt sorrow for the times that I doubted or squandered or felt totally entitled to such blessings.

Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
~ Psalm 16

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
“I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
John 17:20-26

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