Today is the first day of Lent, the forty days leading up to the greatest Christian holiday of the entire year: Easter, when we celebrate the Risen Christ who breaks the power of sin and death. This penitential seasons is a time to take stock, to see the areas of our lives that need not just improvement, but the transforming power of Love.
Marriage is one of the most important assessments, of all human relationships. A happy husband, I’ve learned, has the power to lift my spirits . . . just as a cheerful wife has the power to lift his. The funny thing is, this kind of cheerfulness or happiness is not dependent on what is going on in the rest of our lives. When work is taxing, kids are demanding, money is tight, the crises diminish when that central relationship is right. Within marriage, each partner has access to an island of mercy, an oasis of peace in which they can be fortified and reassured before heading back out into the storm. Whatever that storm may be.
And so, I’d like to invite you to journey with me once more, as I reprise the 40-Day Marriage Challenge that first ran on my blog a few years ago, a daily reflection on the “Prayer of Abandonment” by Blessed Charles de Foucauld. Believe it or not, I’ve learned a few things about marriage since then, and as the days progress I invite you to add your own observations. Know that as we make this journey together, others are praying for you, even as you take a few moments each day to offer this “Prayer of Abandonment” for yourselves as well as the other couples who are journeying with us.
And so let the journey begin! Please start here by reading the introduction. Then come back here each day, to continue your journey.