Worth Revisiting:Love Worth Waiting For

Those who know my husband and I closely, know that before we ever dated we were best friends. John was a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts and I a freshman at Mount Holyoke College in 1990. In looking back, every detail of our meeting and courtship was just as it was intended to be. Neither of us was initially looking for a long term relationship but honestly seeking someone that reflected the values that we held dear.

That first evening, John was in fact to be meeting someone else, who was the roommate of a friend of mine. Yet, with nothing in common and little desired conversation both had decided it was a bad idea. At dinner, he spotted me across the room and inquired from my friend who I was.  I had noticed him too, but was unsure if he was with one of the other girls. Called over to their table before leaving, I suggested that we meet in the common room for coffee.  As the conversation flowed, the more we discovered that there was indeed something very special in the other. I could not explain it, but I recognized what had been so missing in my life at the time.

Instantly, John will tell you, that he knew that I was the one- who held his heart, mind and attention from that day forward. Yet, I was not so ready to “jump”. Knowing that he was special and desperately needing a true male friend, I was fearful that a relationship would ruin this.  Reluctantly, he accepted that I was not ready to date but longed for his friendship. Through months of listening to one another tell of the faults of those we dated, and giving advice we grew closer. He was waiting for me and loving me all the while.

So it happened. Having invited him to a party that I was certain would be uneventful, I eagerly anticipated spending time with my best friend. I did not worry that we wouldn’t have anything to talk about, or that we would face that awkwardness at the end. I knew that we would enjoy the time no matter how lame the event was. What I wasn’t aware of, however, was the surprise that God had in store for me..now that I was ready for it.

We kissed. (Oh, no..I’ve done it, I lost my friend), I thought. Yet, in those moments of recognition I prayed. Father, lead me, lead us. So, upon my suggestion we decided to go take a walk and sit beside one of my favorite reflective spots beside the waterfall. Though quite picturesque, I was feeling a bit chilled in the cool New England spring air. As he put his arms around me, and we sat in relative silence..I finally understood.

The following is a poem that I later wrote that summer. I waited to give this to him after we were engaged for Valentines Day 1992.

The Waterfall   (1991)                 by Elizabeth Reardon 

The waterfall cascaded down onto the lake below,
I marveled at its beauty and watched as moonbeams shone.
I hadn’t known the lake to look as lovely as that night,
For within his arms and loving heart I was now held tight.

In friendship had I known this loving heart before,
I never thought that ever I could ask for any more.
But suddenly I realized that this was but a start,
That every second of my life he would be a part.

To hold me, love me, and share the vast wonders of the day-
To walk along a mile with me down steep and narrow ways.
And when we are no longer young to our grandchildren I will tell,
Of the sparkling waterfall, and the painted lake-
when their grandfather kissed his southern belle!

This Valentine’s Day as we stop to express our love for those that continually bless our lives let’s remember how God never ceases to surprise us!



An Engaging Faith: August 10th-14th

You are invited to join me this week for An Engaging Faith on Real Life Radio daily at 4pm EST.

Enter To Win a Copy of Life Everlasting: The Mystery and the Promise by Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield (Courtesy Of Pauline Publishing)  Drawing runs 8/4-8/12

Looking at Marriage, Family, and Chastity …

With Karee Santos of  Can we Cana? , John and Claire Grabowski serving on the Pontifical Council for the Familyand Arleen Spenceley, of Chastity is For Lovers: Single, Happy, and (Still) a Virgin 

As well as – Jim Orcutt of My Brother’s Keeper  and Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield author of Life Everlasting: The Mystery and the Promise 

Karee Santos, and husband, Manuel P. Santos, M.D., a psychiatrist, began teaching marriage preparation and enrichment classes in New York City in 2003. Their Catholic marriage advice book The Four Keys to Everlasting Love will be published by Ave Maria Press in 2016. Karee has also authored numerous articles on marriage and family for Catholic Digest, the National Catholic Register, Catholic Match Institute, Aleteia, and others. She blogs in English at Can We Cana? a community to support Catholic Marriages.

Tuesday: Jim Orcutt co-founder, with his wife Terry, of My Brother’s Keeper  a Christian ministry which delivers food and furniture as well as the love of Christ to those in need in the Easton/ Dartmouth Massachusetts area. Its mission is “To bring the Love and Hope of Jesus Christ to those we serve.”

Wednesday: John and Claire Grabowskione of 10 couples from different countries named by Pope Benedict XVI to the Pontifical Council for the Family in 2009, who have recently spoken  at this year’s Spring Assembly of the USCCB in June of this year and who have been asked to be a part of  the WMOF in Philadelphia. John Grabowski is a professor of moral theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington. He has been published widely in the areas of moral theology, marriage, sexuality and bioethics. The professor has been a theological adviser to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Subcommittee on Marriage and Family for four years.

Thursday: Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield , recent author of Life Everlasting: The Mystery and the Promise serves as the Associate General Secretary at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC.  Msgr. Bransfield also serves as an adjunct professor of moral theology on the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies and at the Canon Law School of the Catholic University of America, both located in Washington, D.C. Other books include, Meeting Jesus Christ:Meditations on the Word, 2013, and The Human Person: According to John Paul II, 2011.

Fridays: Arleen Spenceley, author of  Chastity is For Lovers: Single Happy and (Still) a Virgin is a staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times and blogger at arleenspenceley.com.  She is also a contributing writer at the Catholic Match Institute and the Chastity Project. Her writings center on love, chastity, and relationships all from a Roman Catholic perspective.