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Abiding in the Living Waters

I have just returned from a week-long Living Waters training conference called Sexual Redemption and Integration, at the Theology of the Body Institute. My Mom and I were honored to serve together on the ministry team, a humbling and sacred role of accompanying and praying beside our brothers and sisters in Christ as we journey together to wholeness as male and female. What a messy and beautiful journey!

We admitted there can be a temptation to skirt around Eden. It would be easier if we didn’t have to work out our relationship towards the opposite gender. Can’t we just skip that part? It gets so messy and is so densely wrought with pain, heartbreak, loss, grief, discord, tension…the ol’ battle of the sexes. “In the beginning, it was not so.” Alas, we must return to Eden to go forward into glory! Back to the garden. The Bridegroom is coming, and the bride is preparing to welcome Him!

Our beloved St. John Paul II said that: “Man becomes an image of God not so much in the moment of solitude as in the moment of communion.” So we must do the hard work, with Christ at our helm and Mary as our maternal guide, of restoring woman’s honor, restoring man’s honor, seeking to be a gift to one another, seeking, healing, reconciliation with one another, so as to image God in communion as male and female. No matter what our vocation, God calls us to this spousal, nuptial love of the Bride and the Bridegroom.

So how do we venture back to the garden? How do we enter Eden? Through the open gate of Christ’s Side, this font of ever-flowing Blood and Water of the New Adam. We stand with Mary, allowing her to teach us the rhythm of Divine Mercy, bringing our sins and the sins committed against us into this stream of healing, life-giving Love, opening our hearts wide to receive this never-ending gush of Goodness. We cannot fix ourselves, and we cannot breach the divide ourselves; we cannot forgive or be forgiven on our own. We need Christ our Savior to forge the gap, to restore our integration and our unity with the other. We need Christ to fill us up so we can become the good gift we are created to be for one another, as male and female.

In Living Waters community, as in Hope’s Garden and You Are Made New Ministry, we find a safe space where we can come out of the shadows of our sin and pain, bringing into the Light what has burdened and hidden us. We allow our trusted brothers and sisters in Christ to see us, to know our struggles and our wounds, and we turn together to Jesus for healing and redemption. What a relief! We are notalone in our journey! And we can empower one another: get up my brother, my sister, our redemption is at hand! We have
fallen, but we have fallen forward into Jesus’ embrace of mercy! We are cleansed, let us keep going! We are good gifts and we have more love and mercy to share with broken hearts. We have more healing to receive. Let’s go, and let’s go together, into the Living Waters of Christ’s Font of Mercy! Amen!

Copyright 2024 – Marian West

Marian West is a Catholic “heartist”, seeking to live the art of heart to heart in every encounter. She lives in Lancaster, PA, and is grateful to have recently opened a space called Marigold, offering the Grace of the healing arts. Marian is a modern dancer, vocal artist, licensed massage therapist and labor doula. In 2006, Marian received her B.A. in Dance from DeSales University and then received her massage training at the Swedish Institute in Manhattan in 2007. She served as a missionary with Heart’s Home in Brooklyn for 14 months, offering a presence of compassion to the abandoned, lonely, and suffering. Marian prays that the Blessed Mother be her heart, hands, movement, and melody to touch Christ’s broken body in our thirsting world.

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