Monday, February 18, 2008

Deo Gratias: Wedding Bands

This is the inaugural post of a "special feature" here at Loving and Serving: Deo Gratias. In an effort to cultivate an "attitude of gratitude," I would like to challenge myself to post often about things for which I am truly grateful. Because God is the source of all good things, the thanks go to Him. Hence Deo Gratias, which, in Latin, means "thanks be to God."

This phrase has enriched my spiritual journey so much over the years that, when David and I decided to have our wedding bands engraved, I chose it as my phrase for David. I wanted the message in his ring to remind David that, in good times and bad, 1) I thank God for my husband, and 2) I encourage him to thank God for everything. David approved of the message and, when I gave him the option of having it inscribed in Latin or English, he opted for Latin.

David chose the perfect phrase for the inside of my wedding band: "Peace be with you". Knowing that my husband is praying for God's peace to be manifest in my life brings me great comfort. Sometimes, when I'm feeling anxious, I take off my ring and read the phrase again. Jesus' words then stir in my heart:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. John 14:27, NAB
Some time ago, on a day I was feeling quite upset about not being pregnant, God manifested Himself with this phrase - straight out of the mouth of a babe. Friends of ours were sitting one pew in front of us at Mass, and their toddler was a bundle of energy, moving constantly and making little noises (but no words) from time to time. At the sign of peace, he reached out his little hand, looked right into my eyes, and said, clear as day, "Peace be with you." My heart overflowed with God's message of love and peace. I am still grateful for that experience.

Deo Gratias!

Photo credit (not our actual rings): John & Mel Kots

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