Blogger (and deacon wife) Kathy Schiffer adds her two cents:
Let me tell you what it’s like to live, day in and day out, with a guy whose faith has led him through five years of graduate study and four years of formation, who was buried in books and saddled with term papers for so long that it was sometimes hard to remember what “free time” felt like, and who then walked the aisle, knelt before the archbishop and heard this clarion call to mission:
“Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become.
Believe what you read,
teach what you believe,
and practice what you teach.”
First, he’s away from home—a lot! My husband, unlike some of the deacons in his ordination class, actually holds a fulltime job in the Church as pastoral associate. His diaconal service overlaps, of course, but adds yet another level of responsibility.
Weekends revolve around Mass, RCIA classes, baptisms, special prayer services. On weeknights, there are often meetings: parish council, counseling sessions, baptism or marriage prep. Sometimes, after all that glorious service, it’s hard for him to muster the energy for mowing the lawn, or puttering around the house, or going out to dinner.
When we were twenty-somethings, I think I’d have been jealous of his time away. At this point in life, though, I accept our separations and revel in the hours we spend together. When we finally sit down for dinner, we’ve both filled our days with meaningful activity, and our “couple” time—albeit limited—is enriched by the experiences and joys we each bring to the table.
Each Sunday, I attend Mass as Jerry serves at the altar. In the minor elevation, the priest uplifts the host, and the deacon holds the chalice for all to see. It is one of many proud moments for me, as I watch those arms—which rested casually on my shoulder in the morning—now hold the Blood of Christ.
You’ll want to read it all, including her thoughts on the whole continence controversy.
UPDATE: A reader points me to this fine piece by the wife of a Catholic priest.