Other Husband & Wife Articles

Praying as a Couple

Part 4 of the continuing love saga of our two newlyweds

by Mary Rose Bacani & Richard Valenti

Narrator: We join our love birds as they settle down to pray. Let us ask about their ideal environment for experiencing God.

Richard: I’ve figured out that heaven is like a wedding for me, while for Mary Rose, it’s like a honeymoon. I love praying in community, with everybody around me engaged in the same faith experience. However, Mary Rose is very private and prefers to be alone with God.

Richard and Mary Rose prayin the chapel at the Salt+Light TV headquarters

Richard and Mary Rose pray in the chapel at the Salt+Light TV headquarters

Mary Rose: I love spending eight days in silent retreat every year. During those days, I go with what I feel God is asking me to do at that moment. Whether I’m napping, walking, or reflecting on Scripture, it’s all part of my honeymoon with God – every moment is romantic.

Richard: World Youth Days and large spiritual gatherings help me spiritually. My most memorable spiritual experience happened during an international youth festival in Assisi. Assisi is such a special place, untouched by modernity.

Mary Rose: Untouched by modernity? Who talks like that?

Richard: I just wanted to sound intelligent. Anyway, I could feel the presence of St. Francis everywhere. Every day, our group had Mass, prayer services, and candlelight processions that I loved so much. That was seven years ago. My faith life has gone up and down since then.

Narrator: You both seem so different. How do you pray together?

Richard: We try to meet each other in the middle. We switch locations for adoration, so that we both get what we need.

Mary Rose: And we’re still learning to respect each other’s spiritual needs. As much as I can, I wake up every morning and spend time getting to know Jesus in the Gospels. At night, I examine how I lived my day, how connected I was to God. These are important staples for me. But not for Richard.

Richard: Well, that’s what you need to be a better person. So I support you. I speak to God at different times during the day. I talk to him through my art. I know I still have a long way to go with my prayer life. As I grow, I’m sure I’ll develop more of a structure.

Narrator: What kind of spiritual traditions do you want in your family when you have children?

Richard: The family Rosary is an important one. Although we don’t pray the rosary every night together right now, we want to pray at least a decade a night with our kids.

Mary Rose: I was raised on the family rosary every night. But I think it’s important our kids understand that prayer is really all about talking to God, and not just reciting words.

Richard: Mary Rose’s dad gave her a little Marian statue with a built-in music box. It sits beside our bed, where she winds it every night. Whenever the beautiful melody of the “Immaculate Mary” floats in the darkness of our room, I’m comforted by this thought: our hearts are praying together, even if we’re not saying anything at all.

Join us again next week for Mary Rose and Richard’s final column. They share their hopes for the future, and what sacrifices they’ll have to make to get there.