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Friday, August 08, 2008

Blushing Bride

This evening I attending the wedding of a dear friend and neighbor, a woman, in part, responsible for my own coversion. Why? Because she is a good Catholic.

When I first purchased my townhome, I prayed that God would lead me to a place where I would be surrounded by good Catholic friends. He has answered this prayer with great abundance, and one of the first people I met when I moved in now newly-married friend. She and her sister had a garage next door to me, and their unit backed up to mine. I think I mentioned in conversation that I had begun attending the nearby parish, and she became very excited, telling me they'd been members there for awhile and were happy I was Catholic, too. Over the last few years, although we mostly seemed to wave at each other only in passing, both of these young women have become good friends of mine, and so as I write this post, I have to admit the memories are a little bittersweet.

Tonight, this friend got married. A couple years ago when we rode to Theology on Tap together, I happened to meet the man who is now her new husband. If I remember correctly, they had perhaps met a couple times, and I also had spent some time talking with him that night and on other occasions. For some reason, I could "see" the two of them together, so finally I asked her about him. At the time, they were only friends, and she was noncomittal about anything further, but I wondered. And sure enough, about a year later they were officially dating...and tonight...they married.

And I couldn't be happier for them both! It was a beautiful wedding between a man and a woman who know what the Sacrament is about, a reception including their family and friends whom they love and who love them both dearly in return, and all in all, it was a wonderful night!

Yet I will miss her and her sister, for they are selling their townhome and will no longer be my neighbors. I will miss their smiling faces and the short conversations or waves as we pass each other coming and going, along with prayer requests and promises on the fly. Their faith has bolstered what was once a fledgling faith for me, and as I have watched them grow over the last few years, they have helped me to grow. And so it is with joy and sorrow both that I attended this wedding, thanking God for the providental connections He makes for us, knowing that if we trust our welfare to Him, He will always provide for us what we need in any given moment, from simple friendship to eternal sacramental bonds.

It was also a night to make connections with friends and acquaintances I haven't seen in a few years, as well as make new friends who happen to be connected in other acquaintances in other circles in which I travel. Life is beautiful, is it not?

One of the people I had the great privilege of speaking with tonight is the prior Associate Pastor from my parish, who was reassigned this spring as Pastor of another parish. This particular priest was instrumental to me in where I am in life now, through a couple simple actions; he wrote recommendation letters to two Grad programs for me, and served as a reference for my current job. This priest also was often in the classroom when I taught RCIA, insuring, apparently, that any Latin pronounciation (ie: Gaudete: Gau DAY tay) was done correctly, and that what I said was free from heresy.

We fell into our old banter, causing me to have to remind him of the evening before RCIA when he had come in to check his speaking schedule, to learn I was signed up to give the catechesis on sin. He thought it was his topic, I was ready to back off, but he asked me to take it as he had two other talks that week as well, and ended his seemingly-nice request with the typical caveat I had come to expect from him: "Oh, no, you can give the talk about Sin. After all, you were a MUCH bigger sinner than I was!"

Thanks, Father.

He of course denied the event, but everyone there who knew him knew that it sounded EXACTLY like the kind of thing he would say.

And that's why we respect him so much, and why he was there to concelebrate my friend's wedding; because not only was he hilarious, he was (and is!) an awesome priest with the ability to balance jest with real business. And all of us who have had contact with him have become better Catholics out of his real encouragement and real actions on our behalf. I know my newly-married friend would say at least that, probably more. It was good to see him again tonight and that he is doing well at his new parish.

I'm sad to report that I had to leave before I was able to get a photo with my friend in her bridal gown, and one with her and her sister, but such is life. And as it turns out, my failure to get a photo with them was a blessing. As soon as I got into my car, I realized that I had some green herb right smak dab center in my teeth, which likely couldn't be observed in the dark dance hall...but WOULD have shown up in stark relief in any given photograph embellished with flash.

God is quite merciful, y'all. Extremely so.

And so I end this post with a prayer request for all of you, known and unknown. Please offer your prayers for my friend and her husband, that God bless their marriage, that they be blessed with children, and that they continue to serve as an example of holiness for us all.


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Melody K said...

Sounds like a lovely wedding! I'll pray for blessings on the new couple. Also prayers for the "moth"; I saw one of the comments before it got deleted, and I agree with you that he or she is in serious need of prayer.

Banshee said...

The really important doctrinal question is... Chicken Dance or no Chicken Dance?