Last weekend, my parents attended the marriage encounter retreat and I was able to witness some of their activities during the Sunday mass.
It has always been my mom's prayer to have the chance to serve and worship Him together with my dad. We used to be a part of a small charismatic group back home in the Philippines and I remember how my mom dragged everybody to join every prayer meeting. She was able to bring me every time maybe because she started dragging me while I was still 3 years old but somehow she can't do the same with daddy. My dad used to stay in the bedroom whenever the prayer meeting was held in our house.
My dad's a good man, don't get me wrong. I know he prays but only in private. I think he's just not comfortable to be seen praying and singing for Him. His work in the Philippines became a hindrance for us to attend mass every Sunday as a family. Well, it's not just the Sunday mass but it's any activity that requires us all to be in one place with him; he used to have threats, i remember him saying that he can only protect one person if ever he gets ambushed. I know he prays a lot, especially for strength, wisdom and protection while he was still in service but his work hindered us to cultivate our relationship with Him as a family, which I think is also important. I remember a saying from a prayer time program in the philippines--"The family that prays together, stays together."
I believe that it's nice to be a part of a community as a single, but it's better if the whole family is a part of it; that's why I'm thankful that finally my parents were able to have time to join the ME retreat. My mom is also grateful that daddy finally decided to join.
I love watching my parents renew their vows last Sunday. I know how much they love each other; I'm not just their daughter but I am also their number one fan. I know and I witnessed their sacrifices and patience for each other. I am inspired by their love story and love for each other. Now that my dad already opened up and decided to level up the kind of prayer life that he has which is praying with the community, I can now completely say that I want a marriage like them. My dad's love for my mom is amazing; I want to feel blessed with the man that I will soon marry just like my mom. My mom's patience and strength is inspiring. I pray that I could be just like her for my own family someday; her faith is amazing and she never ceases to pray for us.
A Marriage Blessing
We thank you, O God,
for the Love You
have implanted in our hearts.
May it always inspire us to be
kind in our words, considerate
of feelings, and concerned
for each other's needs and wishes.
Help us to be understanding
of human weakness and failings.
Increase our faith and trust
in You and may Your prudence
guide our life and love.
Bless our marriage, o God,
with peace and happiness,
and make our love fruitful for
Your glory and
our joy both here and in eternity.
*The picture is from here.