By Annie Albrecht The North Star Catholic
Back when 2020 was still fresh and new and full of hope, I wrote an article on marriage for Inside Passage, the newspaper of the former Diocese of Juneau. The thesis of that article can be summed up in a simple statement: your marriage matters to the world.
Now, as we look forward to Christmas and another new year, I feel the message bears repeating – but in a more global sense: you matter to the world, regardless of vocation.
As Christians, we believe that the Church is the mystical body of Christ, with Jesus, our Lord, at the head. Each of us has a part to play in this mystical body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you.” Or again, the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” (1 Cor 12:21) We each were created with a unique role to fulfill in this mystical body, and God desires us to step into that role. When one person abandons himself to the will of God, the entire body of Christ benefits. When one person turns away from God, we all suffer. (see 1 Cor 12:26) This is not insignificant.
Living our lives in Christ is not just essential for the body but also for our own joy.
St. John Henry Newman wrote, “God has determined, unless I interfere with His plan, that I should reach that which will be my greatest happiness. He looks on me individually, He calls me by my name, He knows what I can do, what I can best be, what is my greatest happiness, and He means to give it to me.”
But this can only happen when we say yes. When we join with our Blessed Mother and say, “Let it be done unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38)
These “unique” things God is asking of us can seem, to the world, like nothing of significance – things like getting out of bed on time, smiling at your spouse, logging into a Zoom meeting, sweeping the floor, planning meals for the week, calling a distant friend or isolated relative. But they are significant. These things matter to the world. St. Francis De Sales reminds us, “Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly.”
In my household, we transitioned to all 5 of us being under the same roof all the time. We are learning how to work through conflict, form fruitful routines without much of a schedule and keep our house livable–as a team–as a family.
It’s not always pretty – it’s actually been a struggle. But this is what God is asking us to do right now. This is our role in the body of Christ. And we are trying to do it as well as we can.
This Advent season, as we meditate on the coming of our Savior – I invite you also to meditate on God’s specific call over you. Who has He created you to be and how is he inviting you to step into His plans for you. How does He desire to speak through you to the world?
The writer and her husband, Greg, organize the monthly marriage enrichment ministry at St. Paul the Apostle parish in Juneau.