First of all, welcome to Doug, who writes from California on the joys of marriage: he is worth listening to. When Doug said he wanted to write about marriage, I was looking for reflections for the week beginning on Saint Valentine’s Day. A match made in Heaven?
Before I give him the floor for the week, a few words from Canterbury.
I was wondering how to celebrate John, whom we buried on Thursday, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Fr Anthony told us how his own parents got together on a pilgrimage there and were engaged within six weeks. It took rather longer for John and Merlyn to get together after meeting at Lourdes, later in life than most. They always radiated love; it wasn’t something to be kept to themselves. Thus they have done so much to support the Franciscan International Study Centre. John had prayed to Mary to help him find a wife; she found exactly the right partner for him!
Also this week, The Tablet has published a prayer from the Bishops of England and Wales for those, like John, who are seeking a lifelong companion, a beloved other half.
Bishop of Plymouth, Mark O’Toole encouraged people to come to Mass, where like-minded souls would gather: “You never know, you might meet someone at church this Sunday.”
Prayer for those seeking a spouse
You know that the deepest desire of my heart is to meet someone that I can share my life with.
I trust in your loving plan for me and ask that I might meet soon the person that you have prepared for me.
Through the power of your Holy Spirit, open my heart and mind so that I recognise my soulmate.
Remove any obstacles that may be in the way of this happy encounter, so that I might find a new sense of wholeness, joy and peace.
Give me the grace too, to know and accept, if you have another plan for my life.
I surrender my past, present and future into the tender heart of your Son, Jesus, confident that my prayer will be heard and answered.