Posted on March 5, 2014



The ways of God are strange to our minds, but when our hearts are moved with the divine breath, they are relieved as if for the first time.

For readers of this blog, this post may surprise you. But I assure you that I now know clearly that my whole life has been leading up to this very special moment. The desires of my heart and soul which have animated the words of this blog have now reached a moment of clarity and decision. I am now committed to providing, protecting and cherishing a very special woman and a very special daughter.

For some time now God has grown a very close friendship between myself and a woman from my parish. Her name is Whitney. We developed an intimate brother-sister bond which was focused on mutual edification and spiritual growth. As a result of this relationship, God began to open my eyes to be open to loving her in the way that God desired, and not according to my own conceptions. It was then that I realized that I was open to discerning marriage with her. At that time, I wrote this about her and her daughter, Julia:

O my Lord. I love my sister. She shines as a light. The light which You have created in her. It shines so brightly. Its rays are healing. Its rays are mercy. This is glory of God. She is beautiful in her mercy. She is beautiful in her love. She is beautiful in her smile to a brother or sister coming by. She takes delight in others. She adores their souls. She receives joy from their presence. I love my sister.

O my Lord, she is so wonderful. She is steadfast. She is strong. She is powerful by Your grace. She is good and kind. She is gentle and compassionate. Your grace is at work in her life. I am thankful for the ways that this grace has been mine. For You have touched my life so powerfully through her. I have been shown Your great love and compassion through her words and deeds. Through her kindness. And gentleness. O my Lord, I am weak, and she brings me Your strength. I love my sister.

She is struggling. She is fighting. But her zeal cannot be quenched. Her fire cannot be put out. Her heart cannot be smothered. For it belongs to You alone. Let this be so forever and ever. That she may come to the eternal banquet. That she may come to the eternal embrace. The eternal marriage. Where all of her soul’s longings will be satisfied forever and ever, amen.

Grant her everything that she needs, O Lord. I entrust her completely to You. Give her the wisdom to know Your will. Give her the insight to know herself. Give her the vision to see past the lies. Give her the strength to offer up cries. Give her the power to vanquish the foe. Give her the courage to see and to know. Give her the life that she needs to live. Give her the love that she needs to give. Grant her the blessing of everlasting life. And grant her to find in You her delight. In You her rest. In You her peace. In You her power. In You her feast. Let her heart rejoice in the peace of Christ. Let it rule every part of her being. I love my sister.

Provide for her whatever she needs. If she needs a husband, give her a pure heart. If she needs a convent, grant her to rejoice in her Bridegroom. If she needs the incredibly grace of heroic single motherhood—then turn not away Your face from her cries.

Teach me to love her, only as You. Teach me to point her to the praise that is due. Teach me to die and suffer and offer. Only Your peace so that I may care for her. Save me from my own conceptions. So that I may be her brother, or friend, or husband or whatever is Your will. I am at peace with all things, Glory to You in everything. I am thankful for her and I pray for her fervently. Give her grace and provide what she needs. Glory to You.

I love her daughter. The brightness continues! We stand in awe of the magnificence of Your glory! For this daughter has been created as a mercy from heaven. She was formed and came forth to be salt and leaven. She was given to Whitney, and to the world. To shine and give joy to every boy and girl 🙂 She is curious. Her heart questions. She opens her mind. She offers life for all humankind. She longs to be enveloped in Your eternal embrace. With the beauty of a child shining forth on her face. She cries out to You, dear Jesus, with faith which is pleasing. Her tenderness is such that God graces everyone. By her presence and words God is glorified and all edified.

Give to Julia what she needs. Guide and protect her from all evil. Guide her as You do to all, from conception to death. That her lips may speak “Jesus!” to her final breath. That You may bring her to the abode of Your mercy. That You may give her a heart that serves You. O my Lord, what wonder to behold it, now! What wonder to rejoice in the grace You allow! The blind all see the shekinah of God. In this little one formed at Your providential nod. O Good One! Shepherd her and her mother. Guide all of us one and all, sisters and brothers. Grant us to know Your kind voice. Grant us to know when Your will is the choice. Let us submit completely to Your will. Let us not refrain from the bitter suffering. We partake of the cross, we give thanks to Thee. Come to us now, O Blessed Trinity. Holy One, save us. 

After speaking with my spiritual director about all this, I spoke to Whitney. We realized that we were both bonded to one another in such an intimate way that it was difficult for us to imagine life without the other. We realized that we were best friends and no one in the world knew each of us as well as the other. At this point the romantic feelings felt completely natural and we immediately began talking about marriage. We had fallen in love with one another without realizing it. We began to pray every day that God would direct our wills away from marriage if He did not desire it for us. We also decided that her daughter’s comfort was the first priority, and we would certainly not move forward with anything unless Julia felt good about it.

And then Julia completely embraced the idea. She said, “Now we can be a real family!” She immediately started talking about baby names and wedding dresses. We were floored. That’s when we prayed more and felt peace about moving forward with engagement. With the blessing of our spiritual director (as well as other older and wiser people), we began to move forward with marriage. God be praised.

Both of us have been deeply transformed. We are surprised at what God has done among us, and we marvel at His divine Providence. But when we look back at our lives up to this point, we can also see how God had been preparing us for this moment in ways we did not see. In all things we offer thanksgiving and praise to the infinite mercy that comes to us from our heavenly Father. We glorify Him with this relationship, and offer to Him the joy we have been given through each other. May the love of the Blessed Trinity always fill our home.

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