Saturday, July 16, 2011

Protecting the Sacred (A tribute to Chris and Nat)

I guess it's just a summer for weddings. Just a month ago, I had the honour of being one of the groomsmen at the wedding of my friends Chris and Meghan. About 2 weeks ago, I again had the honour of being a groomsman at the wedding of my friends Chris (don't worry, different one) and Natalie. It was such a blessing to be a part their special day, especially since Natalie has been one of my closest friends for the last few years. If there is one word to describe everything that happened yesterday, "beautiful" would be it. The ceremony itself was beautiful. The place that the reception dinner was held - beautiful. The speeches given, with sincere thanks given and tears shed, were beautiful. And of course, dear Natalie, dressed in white, radiating happiness, was beautiful.

What was really great though, was that their ceremony on July 1st took place on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the day that the Church sets aside for all of us to remember the divinity and humanity that coexists within the loving heart of the Second Person of the Trinity. Chris, with all his heart, shows this love for his bride, and Natalie fully gives it back. What's more, both of them fully understand that it is Christ, not either of them, that is the center of their relationship. With his humanity, Christ is perfecting the newly-weds. With his divinity, Christ is elevating them to partake in his heavenly banquet.

This truth hit me and everyone at the reception hardest, when Chris wrapped up his speech: "I believe that she was given to me, and I to her, to fulfill a plan for Him."

And the choirs of heaven sang out.

How much simpler can it get? Right there, in that one sentence, shows that Chris, more than anything, wants to get his bride to heaven; he wants to protect the sacred. It was a beautiful moment, one that had many in tears, including myself. With their marriage, Chris and Nat have gained not only each other, but understanding, so that they can protect what ought to be protected: love. On that day of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, Christ showed Nat and Chris how sacred it is.

We live in the 21st century. The garbage TV, Jersey Shore, show-your-intimate-love-life-to-the-country, relativistic, no-right-or-wrong century. Of course there are a ton of good things about life, there is beauty and peace and love, but there's a whole lot of crap mixed in. Along with that garbage is a lie that some people have bought into; a lie that says that marriage is stupid, or ancient, or outdated. But through their marriage, Chris and Nat are such amazing witnesses to everyone, especially to all of their close friends. Yes, the two of them are very young. But they are a shining example that while you should plan before doing something huge, you also need to have faith in God, and that with that faith, you can do all things (Phil 4:13). Their marriage proves that there is life yet in marriage; life in the Church.

With their words, lives, and bodies, they stood in front of all of their wedding guests, gave them hope, and said, "God is real. He is a Trinity. And He loves us." Just thinking about how great the two of them are makes me want to jump around for joy. Chris and Nat were witnesses on their wedding day, and they'll be witnesses for the rest of their lives.

"I believe that she was given to me, and I to her, to fulfill a plan for Him."

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