I was excited to read a free ebook written by Connie of Contemplative Homeschool. She has contributed some wonderful posts here at Suscipio and I find her personal blog to be informative and encouraging, rooted solidly in the Catholic faith. Connie has written whats she calls her “first” ebook which gives me hope there will be more.
Connie’s ebook, Five Lessons From the Carmelite Saints is a short, quick read. Do not let that mislead you into thinking these lessons are of little importance. I liken this ebook to the Sign of the Cross; it may be short and simple, but if we truly knew it’s value, we could spend the rest of our lives contemplating the mystery. The same is true for this ebook. There is so much material for spiritual growth contained in Five Lessons From the Carmelite Saints.
Each lesson begins with a quote from a Carmelite saint, then a short teaching on the lesson. The lesson is completed by a “What to do” section. The very first lesson…You were made for union with God. See, I told you, simple lesson right, but we could meditate on that one assurance alone until the day Christ comes. Yes, I meant to say assurance. Connie’s ebook may be encouraging more of me than I am already giving God, but only because He has made me for so much more and she uses quotes and scripture to prove it.
I encourage you to print off a copy for yourself…it’s free! And then keep it where you spend your quiet time.
I know you were hesitant to bring up the intimacies of marriage; that is a ploy of the evil one my dear. His wish is to destroy the sacred unity of marriage and making us afraid to speak of such things, for fear of being crude and vulgar, is his first step. Let’s be very clear as we begin this conversation, a woman can speak of the intimacies of marriage; she can speak of the marital embrace and still remain chaste and reverent.
Can I tell you, I completely understand. I have been there and some days I still am in that place. That familiar place you live in right now as a young wife and mother–touched out. I am not a young wife or a young mother, but I am a mother of young ones still. Your body is not your own, I get that.
I have been pregnant or nursing for the past 15 years. And thanks be to God, married all those years as well. I say that jokingly because not only do my children need my physical body for nourishment, so does my husband. This was a difficult concept for me to process as I became a mother.
I obviously knew my little one needed me physically. Who would have fed, clothed, changed or bathed their sweet little body if not for momma. I know daddies can do all the above as well, but you understand what I am saying. If I did not physically nourish my baby when it needed sustenance and comfort found only in human touch, that sweet one would wail. And I would cause irreparable damage to our loving, trusting relationship. Our husbands need us the same dear.
Our men need our physical comfort just as much as our little ones, and big ones for that matter, do. Yes, I know you may be touched all day long. But your man, your St Joseph, is not. We were made to be touched. Our Lord held the little children. (Mark 10:13-16) He made a paste and touched the blind man’s eyes to cure him. (John 9:6) St John rested on our Lord’s sacred chest. (John 13:23) Jesus’ feet were cleansed and anointed by Mary Magdalene (Luke 7:38) and He washed His disciples feet. (John 13:1-17) Even the God-Man touched or was touched. Does that perspective help you to realize your man may have unmet touch needs while you are blessed to overflowing?
I can speak frankly with you my dear, so I’ll just lay it out…even if you have to offer the touch of your husband up for some poor soul who has no one, let him touch you…No, openly receive his touch. Wording it that way will get the point through to you, but those words may seem harsh to your man. It’s not that you don’t love him, it’s just that you are touched out by the end of the day, I get that completely. But he will not understand the thought of “offering up” his touch. That’s ok. You do not understand some of his daily pressures either. Let him love you, let him find love and comfort and that all is right by touching you.
Openly receive your husband’s loving touch and quietly thank God that your man desires you. His desire is for you sweetie. If that God given desire is not met by you, he will either shrivel and wilt like a neglected plant or be tempted to sin in his thoughts, words or actions. No honey, I am not placing the blame of a wandering husband on the wife. And anyone who throws that smoke screen up as an argument is doing so to get off the topic of being a receptive wife. Do not fall for that deception from the evil one. One of man’s greatest weaknesses is an active imagination and strong desire to be touched. If one or both of those needs is not met in the proper order, ordained by God, the evil one has found the easy button to temptation and sin.
A man feels love and appreciation through physical contact while a women feels love and appreciation through emotional contact. Share this with your husband. And then find a way to meet both of your needs in order to keep your connection to each other strong and active. One of the things that helped my marriage was a cheap marriage devotional I picked up at the Goodwill. Although the wording was a little foreign and goofy in some places and my husband would laugh out loud at some the questions we were to discuss—because in all honesty he was not back in our bedroom with the door closed for “discussion.” But discuss, for a short time, he did. Maybe he really wanted to get in touch with me emotionally, or maybe some nights just because he just wanted to touch me period. Either way, my emotional needs to feel love were met and in turn his physical needs were met to feel my love.
Please honey, figure out a way to make the intimacies of marriage a delight for you both. The first place to start, as with anything in this life, is prayer. Ask God to bless you with a holy desire for your husband. The Lord will generously bless your humble prayer sweet sister. I know you and your husband desire a happy and holy home to raise your little saints for heaven. A strong marriage is the foundation of your little Nazareth.
Our lovely friends over at Catholic Child Catalog are back! Last month I ordered their Miraculous Medal, a Four Way Cross and some party trimmings. The service was fast and the items were fantastic. So much so, one of my older daughters is thinking about ordering herself a Four way Cross.
I’m going to repeat myself here, we love, love, love the Glory Stories!! We just purchased and listened to two new ones, Blessed John Paul II and Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio. The Glory Stories CD’s are by far one of the best purchases I have ever made. They are inspiring, true stories that are so well performed. My children ask to listen to them all the time in the car and during lunch.
So, head over to Catholic Child, purchase yourself a Glory Story CD for that summer vacation car ride and tell Leane thanks for supporting Suscipio.