Bliss.

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I loved him before we even met.

 

I prayed for him without knowing his name.

 

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And because I loved HIM I trusted He would grant what I prayed for.

 

A holy man to share my life with.

 

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So, yet another year I give thanks for answered prayers.

 

And for the life we share together.

 

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A wonderful life.

 

Not a perfect one.

 

For which I’m grateful.

 Joy and sorrow…all of which has been divided and portioned out between us to carry equally.  And when we are weak the other unselfishly carries an extra load.

 

We gathered together today around His altar, humbled to call Him friend and companion, in the cord which binds the three of us together in this Sacramental Union.

“A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

 

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A wonderful life.

 

Not a perfect one.

 

For which I’m grateful.

 

For 31 years we have gone to Mass on this day, together.

However this year’s Anniversary Mass was especially tender, as we gave thanks while also saying goodby to a cherished friend.  An added cord, who did so much to  strengthen our own understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage.

 

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MSGR. Ed Zeitler, along with (now) Fr. Sean Kerins.

 

Msgr. Edward Zeitler, affectionately “Fr. Z” to us, came into our lives & our hearts 27 years ago…. and never left.

 

At the time of our introduction our oldest child was 13 months old & our daughter was 6 months.  And as rapidly as our children grew so too our affections for Father. It was of no  surprise then that he was there to baptize our third when he was born some years later.

 

“Z” became so much a part of us that our daughter began believing he lived in our basement, due to his frequent guest-stay-cays following trips to our city for coffee, books, and Wegman’s shopping!  He loved how the kids needed to read to him and ‘tuck-him-in’ before they too sauntered off to sleep.  And we wrote some of the most beautiful love-letters to one another, the likes a friendship rarely contains.

 

A wonderful life.

 

Not a perfect one.

 

For which I’m grateful.

 

Fr. Z’s Funeral Mass was held today and nothing felt more right.  A day to celebrate the life of a man who was so passionate about igniting the Sacred realities of matrimony, entwined with giving thanks for our own Sacrament.  I am certain he would be chuckling himself  over this beautiful irony.

 

He taught us so much in our years spent together presenting World Wide Marriage Encounter Weekends, with couples seeking to strengthen their marriages.  He taught us that while marriage is not often perfect, it IS wonderful!  For it is often these very same imperfections which strengthen the bonds between husband & wife, every time we prevail over/against.  How ultimately, each trial is a gift for which we should be grateful because of the divine grace which accompanies it!  And always, while chuckling, he’d frequently explain how there was never EVER a (marital) difficulty that could not be settled by simply getting naked!

“Seriously,” he’d explain.  “If you’re in the middle of a difficult time, especially with one another, just strip naked!! Try and remember what the DIFFICULTY is now!”  Still chuckling he’d continue on with explaining that of course he means this metaphorically and that as husband and wife we need to be “naked” before each other in all things, baring all to one another. How in this vulnerable state we are bound to recognize the resolve to any difficulty is: love. For the other.  And for the Sacrament.   Proudly he would confide however, a couple (or two) had taken him quite literally and each professed his theory indeed works!!! 

 

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Saint Rose of Lima, whose Feast Day it is today, understood this grace as well. And just like Fr. Z –  she desired for the whole world to know the same!

If only mortals would learn how great it is to possess divine grace, how beautiful, how noble, how precious.  How many riches it hides within itself, how many joys and delights!  Without doubt they would devote all their care and concern to winning for themselves pains and afflictions.  All men throughout the world would seek trouble, infirmities and torments, instead of good fortune, in order to attain the unfathomable treasure of grace.  This is the reward and the final gain of patience. No one would complain about his cross or about troubles that may happen to him, if he would come to know the scales on which they are weighed when they are distributed to men.”

From the writings of Saint Rose of Lima

 

“Fr. Z” shepherded so many in his 59 years of priestly vocation.  We are humbled to have served together, to have watched our children crawl up next to him & read a favorite bed-time story, to have listened to his infectious laughter, and to have blissfully called him beloved friend.

 

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And we shall never forget, as we try faithfully to imitate the way he lived his own life…

 

It was a wonderful life.

 

Not a perfect one.

 

For which I’m grateful.

 

hugs n’ blessings to all those who will try to do the same…blissfully!

9 thoughts on “Bliss.

    1. Thank you, dear friend! I am grateful for the words gifted by the holy spirit. I pray they honor the Sacrament and “Z” appropriately. Hugs to you for your kind words & extended blessings! Missing you…

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  1. What a lovely tribute to a great and holy man!! Thanks also for the shout out on our anniversary. I am blessed to have you in my life. God has certainly cared for me in giving me you!! All my love. Dan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Z’s” spirit was definitely with us at the altar…what a gift to know he will continue to meet us there, every time the bread is broken open. Hugs for all the joy you ignite in my heart with your love. Muah!!

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  2. /Thank you for this beautiful and life affirming tribute and writing. May abundant Grace continue to be your portion all the days of your lives together. I am so happy that you are a blogging friend and grateful to the Lord for ALL you share.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your kind words over-whelm me and rush over my heart like a warm, soft blanket! I am humbled the Lord has gifted me with such Godly friendships, such as yours! Huge hugs to you….

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