Growing in faith can be pretty painful sometimes. Actually, it’s mostly painful. It’s not until we are transformed that we see why choosing to suffer with and for Christ is, in fact, the best way to live life.
It’s a lot like the purification of metal, as mentioned in the first reading. But, instead of throwing us into a furnace (with the exception of some saints), we are purified and refined by the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, which are always depicted with fire.
A priest friend gave me a prayer card for my fiancé and me to say in preparation for our vocation to marriage. It is called “The Unity Prayer”. Pretty appropriate for an engaged couple, right? Here’s how it goes:
May our feet journey together
May our hands gather in unity
May our hearts beat in unison
May our souls be in harmony
May our thoughts be as one
May our ears listen to the silence together
May our glances profoundly penetrate each other
May our lips pray together to gain mercy from the Eternal Father.
Spread the effect of grace of thy flame of love over all of humanity.
We say this prayer each night. And on the days when I give her good reason to be mad at me, it isn’t terribly “cute” to be saying this prayer; it’s actually pretty difficult. It requires the humility to choose the other person in spite of whatever good reason we have to be angry at them or even hurt by them.
That humility purifies and unites us.
The same applies for our relationship to God. It requires humility to acknowledge our sin and go to confession. We are being purified by that sacrament. That’s why it’s difficult and can be uncomfortable to make a good confession. But like silver and gold, we are made more beautiful and authentic by the flame of Love Himself.
Be united to the Divine.
During the week, Matthew Juliano is a mentor for individuals who have developmental and intellectual disabilities. He has started a Youtube Series that explains and raises awareness about the work he does, which can be found HERE. On the weekends, he is a drummer for Full Armor Band. You can find more content by Matt and his band at www.fullarmorband.com.