Saturday, December 31, 2011
STM and I celebrate 20 years of wedded bliss today. Twenty. Years. That's a lot, don't you think? Feels like it to us, too. And that's why we went to Hawaii, because it is a lot. We're proud of ourselves, and without over-sharing, I'll just say, we should be.
Without a doubt, one of the best moves we ever made, was going through RCIA together, with Kathleen and her husband Jerry as our sponsors, and then joining the Church. It's not because it's Catholic. It's not because it's Christian. It's because it's an active, vital, loving, supportive community, right in our own backyard. It's our Cheers - a place where everyone knows our name, knows our story, loves and accepts us and supports us on our journey.
Say what you want about the Catholics (and I've said it all, and some of it I continue to say, so go ahead), but they revere marriage, and I think that's a good thing. There is much to support the institution inherent in the Church - again, a good thing. STM and I decided to milk some of that goodness yesterday, when we received a blessing from our priest, following the daily morning Mass. We had wanted to mark our 20th in some spiritual way, and asked the priest if he'd perform a blessing. We found a day that worked for everyone, and STM and I went to 8:00 AM Mass yesterday, surrounded by the holy elders, and basked in their goodness and wisdom. After they all cleared out, three of our favorite humans, all of whom happen to work at the Parish Center, stayed behind. Because they know of my love for Mary, we moved over to a beautiful statue of her, prayer candles aflame below her feet, and the priest performed a beautiful blessing, complete with a "You may kiss the bride," at the end.
The blessing came straight from the Book of Blessings, and it used the word "fidelity" several times. Both STM and I noticed, and talked about it later. Kathleen and I even dissected the word on our walk later that day. "Of course we have fidelity," I said, "we certainly don't have infidelity!" But I realized even as I was boasting, that just because we don't have that kind of infidelity, doesn't mean we both can't clean up our acts. Merriam-Webster defines fidelity as the quality or state of being faithful. Faithful - full of faith.
Isn't that, indeed, what a marriage needs to survive? Doesn't it need to be full of faith? Faith in each other? Faith in ourselves? And faith in something greater than ourselves?
* Photo from www.stmatthewcath.org