One Year Down, A Lifetime To Go

Yesterday, KristaRose and I celebrated our 1st anniversary. It’s a big milestone, it marks that even after a year, KristaRose hasn’t gotten tired of me and has decided to keep me! All jokes, aside, it is a big milestone to me but it’s just one of many milestones we will have in our lives. I wanted to take some time today (and I was starting to reflect a bit on it yesterday as well) to really think about what marriage means and how we’ve really grown in the past year.

The past year has been a journey for the both of us. I think there are really two main themes to the year and I think it coincides with our wedding theme as well.

Love is Patient.

Krista has gone through a lot of medical challenges and it’s been a learning experience for the both of us. I’ve personally learned the importance of keeping track of everything. I’m talking about medical bills, prescriptions, even the summary of your doctor visits. I don’t think that in the past year there was not a week where there wasn’t a doctor visit of some sort whether it be for a specialist, for physical or occupational therapy or for an acute visit. We’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals and there are a lot of times where I had to stop what I was doing either work wise or personally in order to take her to the doctor. It has given me a new sense of what it means to be patient. Sometimes you just have to wait your turn in the hospital. Sometimes you have to wait months for a new medicine to either work or not work. Sometimes it’s just a big waiting game in order to figure out what you have to do next in life.

I’ve learned that sometimes you just have to slow down and you just have to have faith that everything will turn out correctly. I think it’s one of the things that we all struggle with. We all worry about the future. We all worry about what’s happening in our lives right now. We all still worry about things that happened in the past. The truth is, you can’t really control a lot of it. It does not help to worry about what has already happened. You can’t change that. It does not help to worry about the future. You can think you can change it but in the grand scheme of things, no amount of planning will lead to a perfect day. God will direct the future as he sees fit and you can be certain that he will make sure you can handle it.

All of the medical complications have really strengthened me. It has made me realize that we need to be even more grateful for the love and support our family and friends have given us. We need to be patient and steadfast in knowing that God will lay out the path for us and we should not worry. Through all of this, we have each other. Love is patient.

Love is Kind.

One of the reasons I married KristaRose is because she is such a kind person. She might not believe it all the time but there are a lot of little acts that make up who she is as a person. I remember there was a time we were in Chicago and we passed by a homeless person. She had just purchased a blueberry oatmeal from Jamba Juice and was more than willing to give it up to the homeless person. It was a selfless act that I still remember to this day. This is just one example but I see it all the time. She might not be able to do as much because of all the medical limitations but her heart has not wavered. She will still help out people as best as she can.

I think the biggest thing though is how she helps me to be kind. I must admit that I don’t get a lot of sleep. Between work, trying to develop myself personally, doing chores around the house, taking care of Krista, taking care of Twix, there’s just not a lot of time that I can have to sleep. It’s harder than you think to have a consistent schedule especially if things happen late nights or there is an unexpected doctor’s visit. Because of the lack of sleep though, I may have developed a bit of criticism when driving. I notice a lot of things more often but Krista is always telling me to be kind on the road and reminding me that we shouldn’t be spreading negative thoughts on the road. It’s a difficult thing to do but her love is always kind and always helps me to bring me back to where I need to be.

Love is Everlasting

Finally, as I conclude my thoughts, I just want to make a comment about marriage in general. I think that in this world, there is not enough love. Even in marriages, how many times have we heard that a person is getting a divorced or that they’re going into their second or third marriage? How many times have we been kind of been beaten in the head that divorce is ok? It seems like the media and really the world is migrating more towards thinking that marriage and relationships are only fleeting. I personally think that we need to take a look at why people get married. For me it stems from the spiritual component and the connection you have to God.

When I got married, I decided that I was going to become one with KristaRose. That’s what happens in a marriage. Through thick or thin, through sickness and in health, you stick by that person for the rest of your life. You don’t give up with the going gets tough. You don’t just leave because you get frustrated with your wife or husband’s point of view. I knew going in that things weren’t going to be easy. We were going to have a lot of difficulty. But together with God, you become one unit and you grow together. For me, this is so very important. Without that connection, the marriage is meaningless.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everyone else’s marriage isn’t valid. I’m simply saying that you need a connection with your spouse. It can’t be superficial. When you say your vows, you have to mean it. You have to know that you will stick by that person to the very end. You have to know that person will help you along and make you a better person. You have to go into it always thinking, this is the one, there is no one else. Otherwise, what’s the point of a marriage? Why even go into it if there’s even a chance that you’d consider a divorce?

I know why I went into this marriage. I am looking forward to many more years where I can share my love. I’m looking forward to continuing to be more patient and more kind. I am looking forward to more smiles, more laughter, more tears, more struggles, more triumphs. It’s about that connection. I know it has gotten stronger over the past year and will only continue to get stronger for the rest of our lives.

Marriage Isn’t for Me

blogentry_michaelSociety has a problem. It’s been one that’s been developing for decades. There are more than a few movies that show the problems of marriage. They depict how it’s quite alright to have a divorce. It’s quite alright to just move on to the next person to find what you’re searching for. It’s a scary thought to me that it’s becoming the norm and is accepted. I think it’s because a person goes into a marriage thinking about the benefits of themselves. In reality, a marriage isn’t for me. It’s about the person I marry. It’s about the woman I love.

When I say society has a problem, maybe I’m generalizing it too much. There are plenty of couples that I know that have been happy and married for years. I only have to look towards many of our family members who are celebrating anniversaries of 20, 30, or even longer amounts of time. I’ve even had the great opportunity to be there for mom and dad’s 35th anniversary. What a wonderful thought that is isn’t it? To be married for so long and to see that love is not only still present but ever growing. It’s just a beautiful thing.

Even though I haven’t even been married for a year I’ve come to a conclusion that hopefully will help and guide me going forward.

Marriage isn’t for me.

I didn’t get married so that I would gain these wonderful benefits for myself. When I was up at the altar, I did not make vows to myself and that I would take care of myself and be selfish. I took a vow to take care of KristaRose. I took a vow to grow in love through the good and the bad. I took a vow to grow in love for Christ through my union with Krista. Nowhere in the celebration was it a congratulations or a pat on the back for me gaining anything. It makes me realize that I need to keep remembering that marriage isn’t for yourself, it’s for the one you love and most of all it’s for God.

Now I know that you might be thinking to yourself that hey wait a second, marriage can’t just be a one way street. You have to be able to have certain things that you like and be able to do certain activities that bring you joy and pleasure. That’s good and true but think about it this way… The person that you marry is supposed to be the one that will make you a better person. That person isn’t perfect. Every person is not perfect. But this one person that you have put a ring on is that person to help you grow. Your wife or your husband is going to be the one that wakes up everyday and learns about you and your tendencies. He or she is going to be the one that encourages you to keep doing the things you like to do and is going to make sure it makes you a better person.

I think a good example of this would be going bowling on Monday. I know that I made a blog post about it but it really is something special when Krista decides to take me bowling. She hasn’t been able to physically do bowling because of medical reasons but she knows just how much I love going and sat there and watched me as I played 5 games. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.

Other things I can think of are the times that I’m not too much of a happy person on the road. She’s always there to make sure I calm down and see it from the other person’s perspective. She’s really showed me how to consider everyone that is around you and that sometimes if a person is having a bad day, that person can make a bad move on the road and you shouldn’t be penalized for it. Isn’t that a good lesson we should learn in life? If someone makes a mistake, we shouldn’t yell at them. We should learn why they might have made the mistake and then work with them if they need our help. It’s a refreshing attitude that the world desperately needs.

I think most of all, Krista has been able to help me back to a more spiritual path. It’s great to have lots of conversation and discussion. It’s also great that we are able to have our own prayer time that we have in the mornings and evenings. I think it really helps us to fulfill our role in getting closer to God. I think it was Manang Grace that introduced this concept to us. In a marriage, you really have a triangle where God is at the top and the husband and wife are on the bottom parts. The closer you get to God, the closer your relationship will be. What a wonderful concept that is and it’s something that I definitely believe in.

So back to where I started this post. I think the world is really suffering with an attention disorder. It seems most people are satisfied to find instant thrill and not settle down and find the people that will actually make a difference in your life. Marriage isn’t supposed to be a fleeting thrill. It is a lifelong commitment that no matter what happens, you are sticking by that person. No matter how hard it gets, no matter what sicknesses come along, you love that one person and by giving your all to them, you become the person you are meant to be as well. Keep in mind that if you find the right person, he or she will give their all to you as well. It’s not a one way street, but a symbiotic relationship that brings you closer to each other and more importantly closer to God.

I’m the Luckiest Guy on Earth

blogentry_michaelThese were words that a person that I regularly play with on Call of Duty told me. It took me awhile to fully grasp what he was telling me. This was a random person that I had met one day while playing Zombies mode and after just chatting for a bit and telling him a bit about myself he made that statement. I told Jose that I was 25, had a fiance and had a job as a project manager. Just from those simple items (which have no fear that’s about the extent that he knows about me and about the extent I’m willing to give while playing any online game) he claimed I had the perfect life and I was the luckiest guy on Earth.

He started talking to me about how it was amazing that at 25 I already had a job as a manager. It sounds bad but to me it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal when I first think about it. I went to a great school and I was expecting that I would have some success in life after graduating with a degree in Information Technology Management. However, what I sometimes forget is that I come from humble beginnings. My first job was a bagger at a grocery store. I worked long hours and didn’t get much pay. You would be required to work even in 100 degree temperatures or if it was raining outside. This was not the most desirable job but it got you something. Sometimes I think we all forget that many people have to hold down jobs like this. With the economy how it has been, it is harder than ever to hold down a job. Getting a job that you especially love and have a passion for is even more rare. How lucky am I to have a well paying job where it allows me to provide for my fiance, KristaRose and it pays the bills that we have ranging from medical bills to school loans to monthly utilities. It is just such a blessing to have that. I think his statement about me being a lucky guy really rings true. I could not have a good job and I could be struggling even more than I do now. I have to make sure I appreciate that every single day.

The second part of his statement was really towards having a fiance at a young age. Jose is only 15 but he was just amazed that I was already getting married at a young age. It really got me thinking because in this day and age, 25 is not really that young to get married. There are plenty of individuals that get married at 18. I think I am really blessed that I got the chance to know KristaRose for a long time and it all started when we became friends. We dated for more than 5 years before I popped the question. How blessed was I to find a best friend and then be able to marry her this coming July? This too makes me a truly lucky guy.

The more I thought about it, the more I remembered to be thankful for everything God has given me in life. I have a fairly inexpensive apartment, I live in a place that has four seasons (South Texas doesn’t), I have a great dog that is hyper all the time but has as much loving as its owners show it, I have enough for electronics that can entertain not only myself but guests and I have the gift of family and friends that will continually support KristaRose and me.

I think when you reflect and pray about it, you will come to the realization that you yourself are the luckiest person in the world. Think about everything that you have. Think about everything you interact with on a daily basis. Think about all of the people that think you on a daily basis. Think about the things that you are destined to achieve. Think about the things you have achieved so far in life. Think about all of these things and I think you might even consider yourself luckier than this luckiest guy on Earth.

~The Lermz

Mass Reflection – 10/7

Hi all! Here at Motivate2Inspire we are starting a new series where we take a dive into each mass on Sunday and get a variety of opinions on what the mass said to us. Anything from the first or second reading to the Gospel reading are open for interpretation and it is interesting to see how many of us have different ideas and different ways that we interpret what is communicated to us. The following are some opinions that should help in your weekly reflection of the word. Feel free to leave comments or to even join us on a weekly basis as we continue to explore our faith and provide our motivating and inspiring thoughts!

[one_half]Reading 1 – Gn 2:18-24

The LORD God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone.
I will make a suitable partner for him.”
So the LORD God formed out of the ground
various wild animals and various birds of the air,
and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them;
whatever the man called each of them would be its name.
The man gave names to all the cattle,
all the birds of the air, and all wild animals;
but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.

So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man,
and while he was asleep,
he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.
The LORD God then built up into a woman the rib
that he had taken from the man.
When he brought her to the man, the man said:
“This one, at last, is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called ‘woman, ‘
for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.”
That is why a man leaves his father and mother
and clings to his wife,
and the two of them become one flesh.[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Reading 2 – Heb 2:9-11

Brothers and sisters:
He “for a little while” was made “lower than the angels, ”
that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

For it was fitting that he,
for whom and through whom all things exist,
in bringing many children to glory,
should make the leader to their salvation perfect through suffering.
He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated
all have one origin.
Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them ‘brothers.'[/one_half_last]

Gospel – Mk 10:2-16

The Pharisees approached Jesus and asked,
“Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?”
They were testing him.
He said to them in reply, “What did Moses command you?”
They replied,
“Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce
and dismiss her.”
But Jesus told them,
“Because of the hardness of your hearts
he wrote you this commandment.
But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.
So they are no longer two but one flesh.
Therefore what God has joined together,
no human being must separate.”
In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this.
He said to them,
“Whoever divorces his wife and marries another
commits adultery against her;
and if she divorces her husband and marries another,
she commits adultery.”

And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them,
but the disciples rebuked them.
When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them,
“Let the children come to me;
do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to
such as these.
Amen, I say to you,
whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child
will not enter it.”
Then he embraced them and blessed them,
placing his hands on them.


Michael Mercurio
Student at the University of Notre Dame

Father V in his homily gave some really important reminders about Church teaching. Nowadays, the Church seems to be a Church of no’s: no sex before marriage, no homosexual acts, no contraception, no in vitro fertilization, no abortion. This Sunday’s Gospel seems to be another example of that: no divorce.

But the Church only says no so that we can truly say yes to God. The Church says no so that we can truly love each other. True love and true commitment in a marriage cannot exist if the possibility of divorce ever looms before us, if we know that at any moment our partner (or we) could opt out of a marriage if it doesn’t seem to be working. The same goes for everything else the Church seems to be saying “no” to: Our bodies (and our souls) become cheap if we give ourselves in sex to someone else before marriage; the consummation of marriage is the possibility of children, which is a biological impossibility for homosexual acts and which is destroyed by contraception, in vitro fertilization, and abortion.

It seems the Church puts restrictions on us. But in reality, she is fighting off the forces in our world today that would prevent us from understanding what true love is.

KristaRose Mijares
Creator of Little Change Big Difference

How appropriate were these readings. I know that the Gospel is always meant for everyone to hear but whenever I go to mass I feel that God is always trying to tell me something directly. This past week, Michael and I attended pre-Cana classes in which we obviously talked about marriage and giving to each other and giving ourselves to each other. So how appropriate was it that this week’s Gospel was about marriage and giving yourselves to one another and about two becoming one.

In the reading God makes woman from man which is how man and woman can come together and become one. God planned it so that whatever he joined together no one could divide.

Our priest gave us the wisdom to not get discouraged by what we see in the world around us and our experiences and not to settle for what our culture tries to sell us and not settle for a love less than what God made us for. The priest said that this is not a hopeless romanticism but rather fulfilling what God made us to be. I find this so funny because in our pre-Cana classes we take a test and my test says that I have such an idealistic view of relationships and love. These readings and the sermon prove to me that I am not being unrealistic but rather wanting the love that I deserve, that everyone deserves and I am lucky enough that I have found that love.

Father had also said that it is in our very core to not be alone and that at the same time it is so easy to pull back from intimacy. God gave us each the gift of vocations whether that be marriage, religious life and even single life. Our vocations help to draw us out especially when we don’t want to, especially when we pull back from being close to one another. God made us to be a gift to others. Our commitments set us free because we suffer.

Now this made sound weird without any context but as Father explained it, it is fitting that our Savior was made perfect through suffering. Jesus had to come down to Earth and die in order to be resurrected and go to heaven. Jesus had to build that bridge between Heaven and Earth by his dying on the cross. So Jesus suffered in order to open the Heavens up for mankind. In the same way we suffer from love which does not take our life but rather redeems our life. Father called it suffering through love and said that suffering through love helps us see glimpses of heaven.

This truly made me think of how blessed I am because of Michael’s love for me. I know that it’s not easy to take care of me especially with all my illnesses (even my mood alone can be enough) but then let’s add the daily regimen of over 15 medicines and routines a day that Michael has to help me keep track of. I see Michael struggle but I also know he does it all out of love. How blessed am I that I have someone there to share my suffering with and how blessed am I that I truly do have a love that God made just for me.

Michael Lerma (The Lermz)
Creator of Motivate2Inspire

The lessons around the homily for today centered around marriage and divorce. I think today’s lessons were especially applicable to those starting their journey on the road to marriage or for those that might be struggling through issues. There was a lot of good content but here’s a summary of what I interpreted:

– Love lasts forever, its the only thing that does
– In the reading Jesus was so adamant and direct because he wanted to reinforce to the kids in the audience that there was still hope and to live a life of hope
– We can get a taste of what heaven is like by finding the love that God made us to find. We find it in companions and giving to each other. We were not meant to be solitary individuals
– “Don’t get discouraged by what you see around you. Don’t get discouraged by what you have experienced. Don’t buy into lies that the world shows. Don’t settle for anything less than the love you were made for.”
– In keeping ourselves, we lose ourselves, but when we give it away we find our hope
– It’s easy to turn away from the intimacy between individuals
– Marriage is one of the vocations. All vocations place us in a unique relationship with God. It’s meant to draw out everything in us instead of keeping things in
– True freedom is to be who we are (to be a gift to others).
– Commitments liberate us because they draw us out of ourselves
– Suffering on behalf of love is something that doesn’t take away from our lives but instead gives us more meaning. There is a life and love stronger than death and that lasts forever and we get that by suffering and laying out our lives for others.

With these messages it further reinforced the need to keep pushing through in relationships you may have. There will be bumps in the road but these are meant to strengthen you and your significant others faith. By enduring suffering you will see how great love can really be and be closer to Christ.

Robert Mijares
Guest Author of Motivate2Inspire

Today’s readings clearly spoke about the topic of marriage. The priest told the congregation that instead of speaking from his extensive experience of the subject, he would instead share a few notes about marriage. Here are the top three. Father started off by saying he dreads giving two homilies. The first is on the topic of the Trinity. The Trinity is a subject full of mystery and complexity. It is just not easy for us humans to understand. The second topic he dreads is Marriage. Marriage is a subject full of mystery and complexity. It is a topic that is just not easy for humans to understand. To the next note: When preparing to counsel a couple for marriage, the priest recalled not being really sure about what to tell the young couple so he asked the Janitor. Jim the janitor was an older gentleman and had worked at the church for some time. Father would often see Jim holding hands with his wife walking down the hallways. Father thought Jim would have a unique perspective and asked him what he would tell the young couple. The janitor said that when you are married you will eventually fight. The important thing to remember is when you fight, stay on topic. The last note was about a man who came to another priest and said “I think I don’t love my wife anymore.” “Why do you say that?” asked the other priest. “Well, it’s just not like it was before,” the man said “When we first met my heart would flutter and my knees would bend.” The other priest reminded the man “You have had three kids, been through many trials, and shared many joys together. Love evolves. It can’t always be like the first date sometimes love is just sharing time with close friend.” The priest admitted that the sentiments of his fellow priest may sound mundane, but it what was said was enough to help the man and his “close friend” recently celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.

John and Rose Mijares
Guest authors at Motivate2Inspire

Today’s readings are all about the sacramentality of marriage. It is a difficult teaching especially in
today’s society. The first reading talked about how God created Eve to be a companion of Adam and
fulfill the design of procreation. In the Gospel, when the Pharisees asked Jesus about allowing divorce
as Moses did, it actually is a trick question. They wanted to know how he could explain why Moses
granted divorce.

The Church has instituted Sacraments as a way to get us closer to Jesus through grace. The sacraments
are believed to be the channels of grace. For example: Let us take Baptism as a sacrament. One will not
find any reference in the bible about the baptism of children. The adults were baptized in the river and
they are doused in water three times to represent the dying of the evil in the person and the rising of
the new (as he is pulled out of the water) in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
However during the early years of the church, the mortality rate for children is so big and there was
the concern that children will not be saved because they died without baptism. So the church whose
primary task is to bring us closer to Jesus, decided to start baptizing children, so that they too may
receive the outpouring graces that we receive in Baptism.

In today’s gospel, Jesus talked about the sanctity of the sacrament of marriage. Marriage should
not be taken lightly because the bond that is created in the presence of God is designed for a lasting
relationship. In order for people to be strengthened by the sacrament so that they have the grace to
live and have the courage and strength to persevere in its challenges, they need the grace of God.
When difficulties arise, the couples have to get rid of the hardness of the heart that is eating up the
relationship, for this keeps them away from God and the grace that sustains that relationship. The
church once again, conscious of its role of bringing the people close to God analyzes troubled marriages
and irreconcilable differences between couples. The tribunal is not there as a way to earn money for
the church, as some people believe. The church created a tribunal to see how they can help the couples
rid of whatever is causing them to remain distant and which is not allowing them to receive the grace
of God through the sacrament. The dissolution of marriage in the church through this process is yet
another means that the church tries to bring people closer to God and once again restore the graces
that we need to live our faith.