SEEING ALL THINGS MADE NEW by Melinda Knight: “You should come to the hospital now!”
These words might have been an ominous warning of bad news or tragedy. But this time, our son’s voice was happy, breathless, bursting with the anticipation of becoming a father for the first time. Their new baby, our first grandchild, was on the way, and soon. the miraculous mystery of our marriage and our struggles to abandon ourselves to God’s inscrutable plan had led us to this moment of wonder and surprise.
In the next few hours of waiting, my mind and heart silently recalled another hospital scene of two years prior. It was the evening of my father’s death from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, and our son and his wife, newlyweds then, were keeping vigil with the family. They clung to one another, watching the scene before them unfold, helpless to prevent what they now knew to be inevitable. They saw their grandmother, sixty years married, kiss their grandfather on the lips goodbye, and he kissing her back one last time. They saw her touch his forehead with such tenderness, calm and resigned. This most precious lesson in love, a lesson of the profound gift of self given in marriage, and the truth of the INCARNATION AND THE RESURRECTION, was playing out before their young eyes, although they are years from recognizing it…
But now, the long-awaited text message appears on our cell phones as we all jump to our feet in the maternity waiting room. The new baby is here! A little boy, born just two days after his great-grandfather’s birthday! A new life, a new immortal soul, a new saint from our Gather’s most generous and loving hand. (Melinda Knight is recently retired as director of Respect Life/Family Life for the Diocese of Youngstown, OH, and a new grandmother.)
PRAYER: God our Father, we give you thanks for the gift of marriage: the bond of life and love, and the font of the family. The love of husband and wife enriches your Church with children, fills the world with a multitude of spiritual fruitfulness and service, and is the sign of the love of your Son, Jesus Christ, for his Church. The grace of Jesus flowed forth at Cana at the request of the Blessed Mother. May your Son, through the intercession of Mary, pour out upon us a new measure of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit as we join with all people of good will to promote and protect the unique beauty of marriage. May your Holy Spirit enlighten our society to treasure the heroic love of husband and wife, and guide our leaders to sustain and protect the singular place of mothers and fathers in the lives of their children.
Father, we ask that our prayers be joined to those of the Virgin Mary, that your Word may transform our service so as to safeguard the incomparable splendor of marriage. We ask all these things through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us. (Mary’s mother and father)
Between the above article and the Preservation of Marriage prayers, I believe everything is covered.