As I was between appointments at St. Peter Chanel, Denise happened to pop her head into the door before picking her daughter up from Catechism class. It was a great surprise because we haven’t seen each other since Clergy Day last April. If you remember, she is married to Ben – our beloved “chart ripper” who eventually converted and has since become one of the most astute users and enthusiastic promoters of Creighton Model ever to grace the Stella Maris FCS offices.
They both spoke after Mass in July for NFP Awareness Week at St. Pius V in Buena Park, and Denise told me that Ben has been inquiring about more opportunities. I updated her about the recent stirrings in the movement. Soon enough, we’ll have more events for them to do with us.
I absolutely love this couple – as I do all of my clients. Ben and Denise have come so far and grown so close in all aspects of marital intimacy over the last few years. Their communication has improved by leaps and bounds. Mutual respect has flourished. They have developed a deeper understanding and appreciation of their individual and shared spirituality. During one of our more recent follow-ups, Ben shared concerns they had about issues in the pro-life movement and the perspectives he discussed at length with Denise. And now as they walk with their children through some major life transitions, I see them more emotionally united than ever before. SPICE has reached an all-time high for these two, and I can’t wait to see how they will continue to nourish their marriage in the future. Some months ago, we revisited their SPICE lists and found that they have already integrated 90% of the things they had written down!
Here are a husband and wife who after almost 20 years of married life are now living their sacrament to the fullest. Denise and Ben have given themselves in complete service to God, to each other, to their children, and to the greater Church community. All because she was stubborn enough to want better for them both…and he was humble enough to accept it.
While I’m always overjoyed at pregnancy announcements from my clients, stories like this from those who are bearing fruit in other ways are some of the greatest gifts I receive as a practitioner. I really couldn’t ask for anything more.