Love…

My lover belongs to me and I to him
He says to me:
“Set me as a seal on your heart,
as a seal on your arm;
for stern as death is love…”

From Song of Songs 2-8

On this date some decades ago, my husband and I married. (Happy Anniversary, Dear!) The passage I cite from Songs of Songs was read at our wedding.

I’ve shared before that my husband is a deacon which allows him the opportunity to witness marriages. As is often the case during the summer months, our home has evolved into “Wedding Central” once again. I’ve also shared that I assist divorced Catholics who wish to pursue the annulment process. I’ve recently felt that I’m in “Annulment Central” because several people have sought my help as of late. Though I hope our encounters ease those concerned through a difficult time, I know that the pain of a failed marriage lingers on.

On this anniversary of my own wedding day, I pray for married couples everywhere, that they truly work at their love and maintain their respect for one another. I also pray for those who find themselves in a troubled relationship. May they rediscover the love which drew them to one another, if they can. May those who cannot do so find the courage to do what is best for each other and for their families. Sometimes, that “best” is living apart. In both cases, God will remain to see them through.

Loving God, bless those who find the love and the courage to marry with all that they need to truly enjoy their life together. Bless those who struggle with their commitments with peace. Be with them as they choose what is best for all concerned.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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Ever Merciful

Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
proclaim it on distant isles, and say:
He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together,
he guards them as a shepherd guards his flock.

Jeremiah 31:10-11

I admit that whenever Pope Francis is mentioned in the news I tune in with great interest. He stole my heart when he was elected and first appeared on that balcony over St. Peter’s Square. He refused to don the ornate cape normally placed over the shoulders of a new pontiff. Francis chose to greet God’s people as one of us.

Since that first “Francis sighting,” Francis has continued to stun some and to touch the hearts of others with his openness to all people and to reform in the church. His remarks indicate that he is keenly aware of Jesus’ propensity to embrace outcasts and to invite them back into the fold of the faithful. This pope is also keenly aware of Jesus’ generous and indiscriminate rendering of forgiveness and mercy upon all who need them. His declaration of the current Year of Mercy was no accident.

Pope Francis has empathy for divorced Catholics who have remarried outside of the Church and are therefore kept from receiving communion. This issue troubles me as much as it does Pope Francis and I’m pleased that he has made their plight a priority. Because I have helped many Catholics and others through the Church’s annulment process and I have witnessed their pain, I am anxious for the Church to do as Jesus did in this regard. After all, Jesus never ever excluded anyone from his table. I’m in your corner, Francis, as you work to see that we do the same.

Loving God, thank you for Pope Francis. Give him and all of us the wisdom and stamina to transform this world as you would.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

An Anniversary Prayer

My lover belongs to me and I to him.
He says to me:
“Set me as a seal on your heart,
as a seal on your arm;
for stern as death is love…”

From Song of Songs 2-8

On this date some decades ago, my husband and I married. This passage from Songs of Songs was read at our wedding.

I’ve shared before that my husband is a deacon which allows him the opportunity to witness marriages. For some reason, our home has recently evolved into “Wedding Central”. The good news is that several of these events involve friends’ grown children. As a result, we’ve enjoyed both the ceremonies and the receptions afterward. So far, so good!

I’ve also shared that I assist divorced Catholics who wish to pursue the annulment process. I find myself in “Annulment Central” because several people have sought my assistance as of late. Though I hope these encounters ease those concerned through a difficult time, I know that the pain of a failed marriage often lingers.

On this anniversary of my own wedding day, I pray for couples everywhere, that they truly work at their love and maintain their respect for one another. I also pray for those who find themselves in troubled relationships. May they rediscover the love which drew them to one another if that is possible. If not, may they find the courage to do what’s best for each other and for their families.

Loving God, bless those who marry with all that they need to truly enjoy their life together. Bless those who struggle and lead them to do what is best for all concerned.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Anniversary Amblings

My lover belongs to me and I to him
He says to me:
“Set me as a seal on your heart,
as a seal on your arm;
for stern as death is love…”

From Song of Songs 2-8

On this date some decades ago, my husband and I married. (Happy Anniversary, Dear!) This passage from Songs of Songs was read at our wedding.

I have shared before that my husband is a deacon which allows him the opportunity to witness marriages. Our home has evolved into “Wedding Central” these days. He actually witnessed a very small wedding last evening. I have also shared that I assist divorced Catholics who wish to pursue the annulment process. I have recently felt that I am in “Annulment Central” because several people have sought out my help as of late. Though I hope these encounters ease those concerned through a difficult time, I know that the pain of a failed marriage lingers on.

On this anniversary of my own wedding day, I pray for married couples everywhere, that they truly work at their love and maintain their respect for one another. I also pray for those who find themselves in a troubled relationship. May they rediscover the love which drew them to one another, if they can. May those who cannot do so find the courage to do what is best for one another and for their families.

Loving God, bless those who find the love and the courage to marry with all that they need to truly enjoy their life together. Bless those who struggle with their commitments with peace. Lead them to do what is best for all concerned.

Gather Us In

Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
proclaim it on distant isles, and say:
He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together,
he guards them as a shepherd guards his flock.

Jeremiah 31:10-11

Whenever Pope Francis is mentioned in the news I tune in with great interest. This man stole my heart immediately after he was elected when he first appeared on that balcony over St. Peter’s Square. He refused to don the ornate cape normally placed over the shoulders of a new pontiff. This man chose to greet God’s people as one of us.

Since that first “Francis Sighting,” Francis I has stunned some and touched the hearts of others with his approachable style and his openness to reform in the church. His remarks indicate that he is keenly aware of Jesus’ propensity to embrace outcasts and to invite them back into the fold of the faithful. This pope is also keenly aware of Jesus’ generous and indiscriminate rendering of forgiveness and mercy upon all who need them.

When Pope Francis mentioned his interest in divorced Catholics who have remarried outside of the Church and are therefore kept from receiving communion, I listened very carefully. This issue troubles me as much as it does Pope Francis and I’ve invested great hope in his promise to make their plight a priority. After all, Jesus never ever excluded anyone from his table. Because I have helped many Catholics and others through the Church’s annulment process and I have witnessed their pain, I am anxious for the Church to do as Jesus did in this regard. I’m in your corner, Francis!

Loving God, thank you for the gift of all people of good will who work to live out the spirit of your mercy, forgiveness and inclusive love. Give them and all of us the wisdom and stamina to transform this world as you would.

©2014 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Happy Anniversary!

My lover belongs to me and I to him.
He says to me:
“Set me as a seal on your heart,
as a seal on your arm;
for stern as death is love…”

From Song of Songs 2-8

On this date some decades ago, my husband and I married. This passage from Songs of Songs was read at our wedding.

I have shared before that my husband is a deacon which allows him the opportunity to witness marriages. For some reason, our home has evolved into “Wedding Central” these days. Mike will have presided at eleven marriages by mid-October. The good news is that several of these events involve friends’ grown children. As a result, we will have enjoyed both the ceremonies and the receptions afterward. So far, so good!

I have also shared that I assist divorced Catholics who wish to pursue the annulment process. I have also felt that I am in “Annulment Central” because several people have sought out my help as of late. Though I hope these encounters ease those concerned through a diffcult time, I know that the pain of a failed marriage lingers on.

On this anniversary of my own wedding day, I pray for married couples everywhere, that they truly work at their love and maintain their respect for one another. I also pray for those who find themselves in a troubled relationship. May they rediscover the love which drew them to one another. May they also find the courage to do what is best for each other and for their families.

Loving God, you know the joys and the difficulties of married life, yet you created us to embrace that life with our beloved. Bless those who find the love and the courage to marry with all that they need to truly enjoy their life together. Bless those who struggle with their commitments and lead them to do what is best for all concerned.