Ex-Spouse? Really? So what does that make my husband...my current spouse? That implies that I will discard him for a future spouse. My earlier marriage was declared sacramentally invalid and annulled. In a sense, though legal, it was not a marriage in the way the Catholic Church defines marriage.
I have been married to my husband for almost thirty years, in my heart, he is truly my one, true love, my sacramental spouse. In the spirit and understanding of the sacrament of matrimony, I have full intention of being his wife 'Until death do us part."
I would love to see a change in our speech to reflect that significance accurately. Perhaps my ex could be referred to as my non-sacramental spouse and my husband as my sacramental spouse? I know it's just language, but I really wish the language could reflect what is in my heart and supported by church teaching.
It seems so illogical that when Pilate offered to free Jesus or Barabbas, the crowd would choose Barabbas. He was a rebel, a murder and Jesus was, well, what? A threat, a lunatic, a liar, no-The Lord.
How many times do I choose Barabbas over Christ? Every time I chose sin, or personal preference- then I am choosing Barabbas. Each time I am selfish or glamorize things of this world, I choose Barabbas. When I choose to go along with the crowd, rather than to stand up for what is right, I choose Barabbas.
Forgive me, Lord. Help me to choose you today and always.
How could he do that to me? I didn't deserve it! I didn't do anything wrong.
Those things can all be true and even justified, but it is very easy to stay 'stuck' in a victim mentality. When we have been hurt or wronged in some way it is normal to ruminate on the injury: What that person said. What you wished you'd said. How much you hurt. How you were right and they were wrong!
Unfortunately, all that focus on self makes it difficult to remember others. I heard a beautiful testimony recently by Immaculee Ilibagiza, a survivor of the Rawandan genocide. She stated that while in a refugee camp, following the slaughter of her family, she looked around and saw others in need. People who were in worse shape than she was. She chose to go to them and minister to them in any way she could. While it did not eliminate her grief, it gave her a focus that was not on her own sadness. In this way, she lessened her own victimhood and changed her own situation. There is a lesson of hope for all of us in her example; change your focus and your heart will change too.