Wednesday, 12 March 2008

A favour to ask you all

I had a lovely e-mail from my sister-in-law the other day, in which she mentioned how busy I've been recently. She said I needed to give myself time to prepare myself spiritually for the changes that are about to happen in my life, and suggested someone that I could go and stay with for a mini retreat.

Now, time really has been a pretty scarce commodity round here recently. Last week, I was working till midnight every night, getting up at 5:00 the next morning to carry on with my work, and even working while I was on the train to work (time I usually spend reading the newspaper). In between all that work, I was shifting furniture from room to room, nipping out to buy paint whenever the painters needed more, and trying to arrange little details for the wedding.

It's been that way pretty much since early February - and I feel as though spiritually, this is the worst Lent I've had in years. I've done no extra spiritual reading, I haven't been to Mass any more often than I usually go, and I haven't set aside additional time for prayer and reflection. In fact, I was astonished when I realised that next week is Holy Week - I feel as though Lent has barely begun.

My sister-in-law was right - I need to stop running round like a headless chicken and calm down for the next two months, two weeks and five days. Unfortunately, this conclusion led to a row with New Man last night, when he listed out his assumptions about what's going to happen for the next few weekends. He appeared to have made big plans for us (without consulting me) for every weekend up to the end of April, although he later backtracked and claimed they were just suggestions (you know, the sort of suggestions that begin, "And of course, the following weekend we'll be going to...").

This weekend, I'm going to sit him down and focus on the Order of Service. We've already (more or less) chosen our hymns, and we'll look at readings and really try to read and appreciate them and try to decide which ones we'd like. Then the first weekend in April, we have our marriage preparation course, which I'm sure will give us plenty of food for thought.

But I suppose I'm also looking for some ideas from you (yes, all three of you who are still reading this blog). If you're married, how did you prepare for your marriage? Whether you're married or not, do you have any suggestions for things that New Man and I can read together and discuss to help us prepare for our new life?

Any thoughts that you can share with me would be very much appreciated...

7 comments:

Ambrose said...

I wish I had read it long before I married, but For Better Forever by Greg Popcak is AWESOME. I also really dig his his parenting book, and I see that he now has a book called Holy Sex which might also be a great book to have. He is knowledgeable both in theology and medicine being a Catholic psychotherapist.
I did some blog posts on wedding readings when I was helping a friend of mine (http://jenambrose.blogspot.com/2004/12/fun-with-wedding-scriptures.html). What she ended up using was a reading from Isaiah 43 (You are precious in my sight and glorious, and because I love you.....).

newhousenewjob said...

Thanks Jen - I'll check those out.

Mac McLernon said...

Maybe not very practical, especially if you're both pressed for time, but you might decide to go to a place of pilgrimage together, just for an afternoon, on the understanding that it's to be time for quiet (silent) prayer (albeit together) and reflection, perhaps on the Gospel of the day, and the opportunity for Confession and Mass...

Somewhere like Aylesford, or Walsingham, or even Faversham... or possibly somewhere closer to home. Just somewhere different, but without all the "planned" activities and meetings usually slotted in to a day off.

Beth said...

We went on a little two day retreat together - it was kind of like a marriage prep retreat, and it mostly consisted of listening to talks of good Catholic married couples on a variety of topics, then some discussion questions and time to discuss with just the two of us. It was nice.

Some people focus too much on the wedding, and not enough on the marriage. I made a conscious effort to focus on the marriage.

newhousenewjob said...

Mac - thanks, that would certainly be easier than taking a whole long weekend to go to Lourdes at this stage, so I'll suggest it to him.

Beth - I'm hoping the course we're going on at the beginning of April will be something like that. We're also trying to focus more on the marriage, but at the moment all the little details about the wedding and getting the house ready for New Man to move in are getting in the way. [And work always gets in the way of everything too :¬(]

Colleen said...

We had some "dates" where we would go to eucharistic adoration together. That quiet time together in God's presence was wonderful. Come to think of it, we really need to start having these kind of "dates" again.

newhousenewjob said...

That sounds wonderful, Colleen. We do go to Mass together on Sundays, but our problem during the week is that we live too far apart for it to be practical to meet up near either of our homes after work. Mind you, we do meet up in London during the week, so I must look into the churches in the vicinity. It's so easy to make excuses instead of plans...