Love is so demanding.
This is not the truth that our hearts imagine when we picture a lover. As women, our bodies and souls are designed to receive. Thus, our imaginations picture love in this good and beautiful light in which we ourselves are constantly being “poured into.” We imagine romance, exhilarating flutters, and intimacy of body, mind, and soul.
Sin made this natural ability to love more difficult for all mankind. This truth is a sentiment I have heard spoken countless times, yet I feel as though its understanding failed to take root in my soul until I was living in marriage. My experience as a wife and mother has been good and sanctifying . . . but like all sanctification, it passes by way of the cross. More often than not, I feel as though I am never receiving; I am the one constantly pouring myself out for others.
“They have no wine,” Mary says to her Son (see John 2:3). This is often how love makes me feel. I feel as though I have nothing left. My supplies of goodness and virtue for the day are empty, completely dry, and everyone around me is thirsty for more.
Sometimes I forget and stay in this emptiness. Then we’re all miserable.
Sometimes I remember the opening line of this Gospel: “On the third day there was a marriage . . . ” (John 2:1).
That third day . . . it’s an indication of a Resurrection—new life that awaits us in our love—our death to self in the cross of our vocations.
Thank goodness Jesus transformed death, just as He transformed the wine. He fought for us in the ways our hearts long for, pouring Himself out and filling us in all the areas of our lives where we feel empty.
He wants us to feel alive, full, overflowing—the very best version of ourselves.
Closing Prayer //
Jesus, I entrust to Your Most Sacred Heart all the areas of my life where I feel empty and as though I have nothing left to give. Fill me with the grace I need to continue loving those around me this day. Grant that I may be nourished and filled all the days of my life, that your grace will carry me to the halls of Heaven, where I can celebrate the Final Wedding Feast with You. Amen.
Reflection Questions //
At what time of day do you feel the most empty? What is happening in those moments? Brainstorm ways you might be able to seek Jesus’ generosity at those times.
What made Mary so trustful of Jesus? Imagine the thoughts of her heart and mind. How might we imitate her?