Editor's Note: During the month of November, as the Year of Faith draws to a close, we will be celebrating all the fruits of this year. Each day we will feature a short reflection from Catholics all over the country and world, sharing what God has done. If you want to share your own fruits with us, email us a short reflection (no more than 500 words, please) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear how God has blessed you and deepened your faith this year!
This was a big year for me. I caught up on three seasons of Downton Abbey, discovered the pure joy that exists in a pair of yoga pants, and oh yea…I got married! Out of those three, I’m hoping our marriage has the most lasting effect. People told my husband, Patrick, and me that the first year of marriage is always the toughest…you’re figuring out what it means to be married, you learn how to live with each other’s idiosyncrasies, and the dreaded task of organizing the finances. Patrick and I spent the year looking at each other saying, “I don’t know what everyone was talking about. This is a blast!” It’s true… we did not have trouble blending our lives together as we got settled in our apartment. We both like things clean and organized. We both enjoy experimenting with new recipes and hosting people for dinner. But while we were busy falling into our new roles as husband and wife, we tended to fall out of regular touch with family and friends. I think it’s fairly common that friendships wane a bit as newlyweds focus on building their home and marriage. With family and friends dispersed all over the country, it’s tough to find times to chat on the phone or Skype.
What has kept Patrick and I close to each other, close to our friends and family, and ultimately close to God is our shared prayer time. I love this part of our day. Some days we pray for particular intentions or the Liturgy of the Hours, but what I enjoy the most is reciting prayers that we have received as gifts from loved ones. We received a few printouts and cards that had prayers on the front, one of which we framed and keep by our bedside. These prayers are so beautifully written and marriage-centered, that in reciting them, God’s sustaining love is palpable. It is through these prayers that we feel a closeness to our friends and family, loved ones living in other states who we know are praying for us, too. So while this past year was one of transition and change, we were blessed to spend our first year of marriage during the Year of Faith. Though my interest in Downton Abbey and yoga pants may fade in future years, our faith will forever be present in our relationship. And it is through this shared faith that we maintain close friendships with those near and far.