Created for Communion
By Marco Casanova
I’m made for communion. Love calls me into relationship. Learning to reveal hard emotions to Ania has become my favorite challenge! Now my heart rests in being known.
Still, dating someone across the ocean calls for technological stamina. WhatsApp and Zoom dates aren’t my love language! Ania and I needed a shift: we prayed for a miracle, and it happened. Ania’s boss in Poland ‘signed off’ for her to work from Kansas City for a month. What a mercy to be in the same city for a few weeks. Our love grew as a result. This Polish/Mexican couple was grateful.
Now we could discern together: Are we ready to get engaged? What will help us make this decision? Do we have some tried and true tools to withstand marital challenges? When do we marry?
We packed the month with pre-marital ‘counseling’ from a priest and a couple. We needed focused guidance, and Jesus provided.
The pre-marital homework (from the Comiskeys) was simple: listen to the other, ask only clarifying questions, receive the other without defense or a ‘fix-it’ response. After both have shared their peace, go to Jesus together in prayer. Simple but not without challenges. Surprisingly, we both loved it! We will practice this together for a long time.
The simple truth we discovered: without Jesus, Ania and I won’t get through what’s ahead of us. Integrating our sexual brokenness and learning how to navigate in and out of conflict takes two committed Jesus-lovers, discipline, and drafts of His mercy. Jesus is game to help us! But are we truly willing to commit to this adventure of a lifetime?
After days of this ‘conflictual’ homework, something settled in me.
One evening, we prayed silently before the image of Divine Mercy. I felt confidence and peace drop deep in me. Without a doubt, I knew that I wanted to marry this woman. Jesus showed me that what I was experiencing with Ania was personal love: one that inspires me to give my best to her while welcoming her gift to me.
Long story short, I asked Ania to marry me ten days later. She said yes!
Now I am glad God didn’t call me to the priesthood. I’d be sidestepping my vocation. Jesus’ mercy transformed me from a disordered man into a son capable and free to offer myself to this woman.
Jesus saw beyond what I could. He called me out and set me aright; daily He frees me to give the masculine gift I am. I’m glad I didn’t bypass Eden.