I recently joined a bible study on the letter of James, a delightful exploration of its ‘pearls for wise living.’

The study highlights key scripture verses that St. James builds on throughout his short, but profound epistle. As participants, we were given a prayer card adorned by a string of blank pearls on which to write our own favorite scripture verses as we move through each week. A key verse: “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22).

This led me to reflect in parallel on the pearls I’ve been discovering in my new life as a deacon’s wife, pearls which I anticipate will multiply, and grow more precious, with time. Here they are, so far:

Patience – my husband’s formation as a deacon didn’t end with ordination – it is a daily study for him (and me). Sometimes the pace seems a trudging one, marked by trial and error. For example, while we’re both eager to make a positive impact in our parish and community in our new roles, frequent ‘reality checks’ remind us that long-standing problems in our parish will require persistence, patience and time to solve. “Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth…You also be patient, establish your hearts.” (James 5:7)

Perspective – One way I can serve my husband and my parish is by helpfully sharing my perspective as a woman, mother, layperson, parishioner, when decisions are being made on how to spend time, talent and treasure to enrich our parish community and its stewardship. Sometimes, my perspective may inspire his next homily. “The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits.” (James 3:17)

Prayer – I recognize more than ever the essential nature of prayer in our lives together, though we are still finding our stride amid hectic schedules that don’t cooperate on most days. Still, I have found that my private prayer life has deepened since he’s become a deacon, as has my appreciation of the beauty of each Mass. In particular, I love the praying the Examen, a nightly review of how I have responded to God throughout the day’s events. “Prayer…has great power in its effects.” (James 5:16)

Perfection – While humanly perfection is impossible, we’ve been blessed with precious moments that touch the divine, such as when Rick baptized our first grandchild this summer. “Every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…” (James 1:17)

Share with us – which ‘pearls of wise living’ have you found on your path as a deacon’s wife?



James Pearls for Wise Living – Jeff Cavins and Sarah Christmyer, Ascension Press. The Great Adventure Bible Study Program

2 Thoughts on “Pearls on the Path”

  • Beautifully expressed Marcia! Yes, my ‘homework’ for the James bible study makes me take the time for slow, careful reading, and re-reading, answering questions in the workbook as I go along – and the gifts of peace and putting life in perspective are worth it. When I start my day with the Lord, I know I’ll be able to handle whatever comes.

  • Thank you Cathy for that great reflection!

    Like you, I also joined a Bible study program. I’m participating in a study of the Gospel of John (my favorite Gospel) and it is giving me much needed discipline in carving out time to read Scripture, research Church teaching using the Catechism and do some soul-searching through the suggested reflections. So many graces – refreshment, peace & a deeper intimacy with the Lord – who knows exactly when my heart is heavy, tired or overwhelmed. Making this “morning time” with the Lord a priority helps me develop a better spirit of gratitude.

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