Journey to Emmaus in Contemporary Scenes — Week 5

Marriage is an “Emmaus experience,” says Hanna and David Allgaier and Fr. Ron Will, CPPS, as the three discussed the surprising ways Jesus revealed himself to them during Marriage Encounter Weekends.

Hanna said, “Marriage Encounter gave me the tools to express my love openly and honestly. It taught me that there was a whole new level of trust that was supposed to be there [in a marriage].

“It also taught me that this is God’s vision for a marriage,” she said.

Fr. Ron said that Marriage Encounter taught him how to see marriage in a different way. “I saw God’s vision for relationships, God’s vision for unity in marriage.”

“My Marriage Encounter Weekend was an experience of change for me,” Fr. Ron said. “It wasn’t a dramatic change, but it changed the direction of my life. It put me in touch with a group of people who had a vision of the church. …My vision of church gradually changed. I grew in appreciation of the importance of relationships in my life as a priest.”

He said, “I learned how the Sacrament of Marriage complements the Sacrament of Holy Orders and how both benefit the church. … [Learning this] was a great gift to my life as a priest, and it certainly saved me from some destructive patterns of behavior.”

David, too, said that his Marriage Encounter experience changed him, “but unlike Hanna and Fr. Ron, it took a little longer to soak into me.”

“It was actually right here in our living room, sitting in our easy chair and sofa that I had my Emmaus experience,” he said.

“We both believed in the sanctity of marriage and knew love in marriage” David explained. “[Marriage Encounter] gave us a whole new light and revealed a whole new opportunity and a whole new pathway to us.”

Hanna talked about the biggest revelation about marriage she has come to.

“Before Marriage Encounter, I never really looked at marriage as sharing your love with Christ. It’s one thing to love our spouse; it’s another thing to love him and to look at your marriage the way Christ looks at his marriage to the church. … Once you start to do that, your mind is turned around. My mind has been turned around; my heart has been turned around.”

Their hearts were burning within.

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