The early medieval preachers did not consider personal human suffering redemptive; rather, they considered it to be mimetic of the Redeemer. Suffering was not redemptive, but it did create the conditions for the cultivation of virtue as exemplified in Romans 5:3-5: “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
Yesterday was our 8th anniversary. I’m generally not known for being a romantic. Not necessarily because I’m *not* romantic but because I don’t normally plan ahead and set up things that are going to be romantic… I actually did ok yesterday, though, even with the constraints of two kids and a quite limited budget.
I woke M with breakfast in bed which was crepes simply dressed with lemon and sugar (n.b.: I found myself wishing I’d made lemon-sugar—I’ll have to try that next time.). On my return home from work, I brought an inexpensive but good bottle of wine and a bag with spinach dip and gnocchis from our favorite upscale Italian place (one order of the gnocchis feeds both of us with left-overs to spare…). I had set up a screened-in pavilion on our notoriously mosquito-infested deck and festooned it with little white Christmas lights. M fed the girls a quick supper and we put them to bed shortly thereafter, then we enjoyed our dinner in the pavilion, under the lights, accompanied by Glenn Miller’s greatest hits (snuck into M’s iPod when she wasn’t looking). After a leisurely dinner, we pushed the table out of the way for some dancing before we retired.
All in all, a wonderful evening with a wonderful wife.