At the initiative of Eileen and Christopher Wood, eight of us met for a full weekend to discuss what we felt God was calling us to do.
It was a spirit-filled gathering. Our name, vision, and mission were all decided upon.
The painting of the Annunciation by Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1898 accompanied us throughout our gathering and was a source of much inspiration. In the image, the angel, depicted as a bright light, visits Mary in what appears to be the everyday common environment of a bedroom in a humble home. Those who have visited the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth will recognize that Tanner had indeed visited there as well–the telltale arches and humble setting give evidence of this.
This rendition, with rumpled rug and disheveled bed, evokes a feeling of the every day ordinary experience of life in which the Father’s messenger arrived to bring the news to Our Lady–the news that forever changed all of history. The three vases that surround Our Lady portray the Trinitarian life that encompasses ours. The look on Mary’s face reveals her Fiat, her “yes” to the Father’s will: “Behold, I am a handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Yet, it also portrays an underlying inquisitiveness–perhaps even a little dismay, as we can imagine Our Mother also saying: “Me? You will be born of me? I am unworthy.”
Our name, therefore, we humbly receive as we too seek to do the Father’s will and desire all that we do to be according to His word.
Our sense is that the Spirit is indeed moving, strengthening the vocation of marriage to reveal the Trinitarian life of God to a world desperate to know it.
We can envision an army of faith-filled married couples with strong individual interior lives and healthy marriage relationships positively impacting others in everything they do, in every interaction they have (with each other, their children, their extended family, their work, their community, their country, the world). In this way, Christ is incarnate anew, so to speak, in and through His disciples and in and through the way in which their lives and marriages are transformed by and reveal His Trinitarian life of love.
Our mission, therefore, is to strengthen the faith and marriages of faith-filled married couples so that they can in turn strengthen the faith and marriages of others–a stone dropped in a still pool with rippling effect.
We want to help you help couples encounter Christ and say “yes” to God’s will for their life, marriage, and family–all for their well-being, the good of society, and the greater glory of God.
As we venture into this work, we pray that we remain, as our Mother Mary emulates in this painting, with our eyes fixed on the Father to know His will and do His will in all that we do.
Mother Mary, intercede for us.
St. Gabriel, help us to know the Father’s will.
Holy Spirit, inspire and direct our every action.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.