My husband and I met George a few years ago through Marriage Encounter. He was a navy pilot. While his wife was Catholic, George was not religious. We were George and his wife’s prayer couple during their weekend. We kept a candle lit for them the entire weekend and we prayed for them in various ways. During our prayers Saturday afternoon, something happened that had never happened before. The candle’s flame kept flickering and gradually grew weaker. My husband and I wondered what this could have meant. Thinking that the couple might be struggling in their relationship, we decided to stop our afternoon activity and devote ourselves to praying for them. As we prayed, we could feel their struggle and pain; we felt uniquely connected to them spiritually. We have prayed for many couples before, but this experience stood out. We could fee a stong sense of the Holy Spirit. We went to bed wondering if the candle would die out. The next morning, we found the candle burning brightly. We continued to pray for them and offered our reception of the Eucharist for their relationship.
Later Sunday afternoon, we went to meet George and his wife and present them with the lit candle. We explained our prayer experience to the couple. George broke down in tears. They explained that they had been struggling through their marriage, and the weekend was an attempt to regain that spark they once had. As it turned out, they were in the midst of an argument and were ready to call it quits during the time the candle was flickering. That evening, they were able to get back on track with their relationship.
George was so touched by this experienced that, five days later, he called our parish priest to talk about the experience and to join RCIA. It just so happened that my husband and I were the catechists for RCIA. We got to know George better as he attended the classes. At one point, he complained about his relationship with his wife. Our advice was that he focus on his relationship with God, and all would fall into place. We prayed fervently for him. He was regularly active and enthusiastic in the classes. He shared deeply. It was evident that the Holy Spirit was working with him. Watching his growth was life-giving. As his relationship with the Trinity grew, so did his relationship with his wife.
He received the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil two years ago with his wife right by his side. During his baptism, he glowed. After receiving the Eucharist for the first time, he knelt down with his wife and held her close to him as he continued deep in prayer. He was on fire for the Lord and his relationship with his wife blossomed. We became very good friends and were sad when they had to move out of state. Happily, George and his wife still stay in contact with us, so we are blessed to witness how he is continuing his journey with God by his side and how his relationship with his wife is continuing to grow. George often sends us texts thanking us for bringing him to our Lord and sometimes includes pictures of Mass on the military ship he is on. Last Easter, George called to thank us profusely for the gift of our Lord, but my husband and I know that it was our Lord who was doing the work and guiding George into the Church.
Chula Vista, California
This article originally appeared on page 36 of the print edition.
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