Even holy people have bad days. Even loving couples have their differences and disagreements. Anna and Tobit are both feeling the strain of Tobit’s blindness. They both are on edge and lash out at each other.

There was a woman whose ministry in her parish was to help couples getting married or those celebrating 25th or 50th anniversaries to prepare their liturgy.  She said that for those who were getting married, the most frequently selected passage was the one from first Corinthians about love. However, those who had been married a long time gravitated toward the passage from Ephesians that spoke of bearing with one another in all humility and patience.

Thomas Merton write in Seeds of Contemplation that, “as long as we are on earth, the love that unites us will bring us suffering by our very contact with one another because this love is the resetting of a body of broken bones–even saints cannot live with saints on this earth without some anguish.  Without some pain at the differences that come between them.”

When confronted with a challenge like Tobit’s blindness, when starting a new venture like getting married, beginning a new job, becoming a new parent, or entering religious life, we experience a surge of determination and even enthusiasm. As time goes on and routine sets in, we find it hard to keep going and disillusionment can set it. How do we recognize that God is still with us? How do we commit ourselves to being in this for the long haul?

How do we stay at peace with one another, and with ourselves?

—Fr. Joseph Folzenlogen, S.J.is vice-superior of the Faber Jesuit Community in Cincinnati and Director of Claver Jesuit Ministry