It started with The Lion King, I believe. Three years ago, my friend Becca was suddenly watching Disney movies, going for walks, and spending hours talking in the chapel with a sweet, thoughtful boy who could play guitar and write songs like nobody's business. Tomorrow they're getting married! Is your life anything like mine right now? As in, every few months you seem to have another set of friends getting engaged or tying the knot?
I love it. A wonderful thing about college friendships, I've noticed, is that when you spend so much time together, you get to watch your friends fall in love with someone in an extra special way. Boy, that sounded first-class creepy. But you know what I mean. It really is a joy to get to see someone you love grow to love and be loved by someone else, and to experience her excitement and trials alongside her in your own heart. Also, my college was pretty small, so I tended to be friends with both halves of most couples I knew, not just one of the two. It makes it all the sweeter when you finally get to witness them professing their love and fidelity to one another.
I guess it was around last September that wedding madness kicked in for me. By the time this Fall rolls around, I'll have been to six nuptials within a year! Maybe some people think every wedding is pretty much the same: you go to Mass, hug the bride and groom, eat a nice dinner, dance to that song about throwing your hands up in the air sometimes...you know what, though? I've realized it never is exactly the same.
For me, there's always a moment that just opens up the heavens. The quiet exuberance on the groom's eyes as his beloved walks towards him, the pure radiance she wears, the endearing quirks you're reminded of in a toast, the beauty of seeing a new husband and wife kneel before the Blessed Mother...nothing is generic. Nothing is accidental. The Lord, in His extraordinary love, wills and loves every single one of us into existence, purposefully and with great hope. Of course no wedding is the same, because no person is the same. It never gets old for me. There is nothing like the wonder of watching two people so dear to you, whom you know scars, weaknesses and all, give everything they are to each other. It's nothing short of a miracle. You know when something sacred is happening before your eyes. You know that every spiritual battle and every fall are redeemed when a couple just gives everything over to the Lord, with the joyful anticipation of knowing each other like they never have before. It's a realization both as ancient as the Church and as glowingly new as if it were the first time anyone ever thought it.
Fulton Sheen wrote, "the union between husband and wife is not an experience that may be forgotten...Neither can live again as if nothing had ever happened." As if nothing had ever happened. It's all happening, and it's all glorious. Join me in lifting Becca and her love, Clint, up in prayer this weekend, as well as all the couples they'll share their wedding date with!