Thirty-one years ago, I stood in front of God and all my family and friends and vowed to love Raymond Frazier until death. Who knew that would take so long ;>) Seriously, I never dreamed then what marriage was all about. You know, in marriage retreats, we are told that “Love is not a feeling, love is a DECISION” and that is definitely the truth!
I dearly love Mr. Frazier, but it sure hasn’t been easy. We are polar opposites in so many areas. While opposites do attract, that attraction breeds a lot of friction ;>) We have had our ups and downs, our highs and lows, our separation and reunion and we are still together. How have we managed to do it, in spite of meddling friends and family, illness and tragedy, and our own innate cantankerous dispositions?
“We” haven’t done it at all. You see, a Catholic marriage (and our marriage qualifies even though I am the only Catholic) is a sacrament. And sacraments always confer the grace of God upon those who receive them. When we made our vows, we made them, not only to each other, but also to God. We invited God to be a partner in our marriage and when He agreed, He gives us all the grace we would ever need to get through all the tough times.
Another peculiarity of Catholic marriage is that our primary goal in life is to bring our partner to salvation. I really haven’t given that much thought until the last ten years or so. Initially, I thought “How can I “make” that ornery husband of mine see the error of his ways?” It gradually became apparent that Ray, through the grace of God, was helping me to look at my own faults and sins. That process is painful for anyone, but as strong-willed and opinionated as I am, it has been like swallowing knives.
However, I see now how helpful Ray has been to my spiritual growth. I thank God for bringing Ray into my life and I pray that I may be of some help to bringing him to the Lord. My love for Ray is not always pretty, but it is strong, deep and true. God bless you, Mr. Frazier!