Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy Namesday

This evening my dear wife opened her namesday gift before prayers: a booklet which contained the lives of Saint Adrian and his wife, Natalia (click on the image in the sidebar to read from the OCA website).

I can remember standing in St. Antony's with her on August 25, 2001 at Vespers. I had been Orthodox for a few months and she, perhaps just barely a catechumen, was listening to the entry from the Prologue of Ochrid for the evening, which was read after the service. She read of Natalia's uncompromising attitude towards her Savior, even if it meant losing her beloved husband to apostasy, as well as her steadfast support of her husband while he, confessing Christ as a Roman guard, was stripped of his station, imprisoned, and martyred. Her care for him and for the other martyrs -- from anointing their maggot-infested wounds to gathering up their precious relics -- prompted Audra to think, "I want to be that kind of wife."

While life has not dealt us circumstances as dramatic as these, she has certainly been a rock of support, a source of prayer, and an example of fidelity and work. She accepted a martyrdom of sorts when she married a man whom she knew had not only entered a Faith she found strange and difficult, but who had also seriously considered pursuing a call to ministry therein. While it is not my decision in the slightest whether or not I will, in fact, be ordained anything at all in the Church, my wife has been an image of love for our God and for man, a gentle direction against my periodic tendency towards listlessness, and an ever-willing woman of faith; if I am ordained, she will make a fantastic matushka.

May God grant my dear Audra, though the prayers of her holy matron Natalia of Nicomedia, many, many blessed years.


Audra said...

Thanks, Honey. I'm unworthy of your praise (are you sure you're not thinking of some other wife you may be hiding?). I love you.

elizabeth said...

Many Years!

Andrea Elizabeth said...

Happy Namesday, Audra! He described the Audra I know, love and miss!

Mimi said...

Many Years!

margaret said...

How fortunate your wife is! Not only is St Natalia a wonderful saint but so is St Audrey, here's an icon of her at Orthodox England (Fr Andrew's eldest daughter is an Audrey, I believe) http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/audrey.htm

Many years Natalia!

Darlene said...

A good wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.

Many blessings and many years to the both of you on your journey toward the Celestial City.

Ian Climacus said...

Many, many years to your wife!

And what a most wonderful and moving post: thank you.

Pr Seraphim said...

I posted a little something (more like pastoral reflections) about Adrian and Natalia, and greeted our zillion Natashas in our parish today. It is on our blog at: http://orthodox.net/redeemingthetime/2009/09/08/greetings-to-all-our-natalias-today-building-news/

Priest Seraphim Holland
St Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKinney Texas