I thought the 1 monthiversary would be a good time for some of my reflections about marriage. For the short version please see the definitions of wonderful, joyful, and right in the dictionary. I can't believe how fast this month has gone by. Like I told Jason in my note to him this morning, it merely takes me closing my eyes (or scrolling through our wedding pictures for the 100,000th time) to bring back the rush of emotions I had when I saw Jason waiting for me at the end of aisle and the unbelievable joy I felt as we danced our first dance. And it's not just because our wedding day was that awesome, it's because what it has led to. What we have become in a month. We're a family now and I am so blessed to be able to call him my husband :-)
I know that marriage will not always be this rosy. The multiple marriage prep classes we did reminded us of this. It is hard and takes real work to get through some of the toughest times. I do plan to write more about these sometime in the future. I know I say that a lot, but so much has happened the past few months it's hard getting caught up with everything. I'll just say I think the Church does it right. We are well prepared to love and support one another as we go forth in our marriage.
Okay now my reflections: Remember when I said I think the Church got it right? This extends so far beyond the prep classes. This extends to the history of the Church, to the sacrament of marriage, to the institution of the Eucharist, to our relationship with Christ. I remember reading a Christopher West book once and he related a story about his father-in-law receiving Communion the first time after his wedding. He broke into tears and expressed that "for the first time in my life I understood the meaning of Christ's words, 'This is my body given for you.'" This always struck me as interesting. What was this change that was made in him so quickly? How did the Mass suddenly come more to life for him through marriage?
Well, I can say I believe I experienced something very similar to this the Sunday after our wedding. I became so overcome with emotions during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Here I was kneeling before the body of Christ with my husband with whom I was now one. This Sacramental mystery we had been welcomed into is an image of our union with God in the Eucharist. Beyond this I was realizing that every time we come to Mass we get to relive an integral part of our wedding day. Not just see pictures, watch a video or passively reminisce, but relive, actively participate. How perfect that the Mass is often referred to as the marriage supper of the Lamb. Christ constantly renews his Vows with us by offering Himself to us in the Eucharist. So too do Jason and I offer ourselves to one another in marriage, living out our vows. Even still when I go to Mass I feel I am participating in a new way. I'm reliving our wedding day, being an active part of the wedding supper of the Lamb, and anticipating the day we enter into full communion with Christ. It's pretty awesome. I have read about this through Theology of the Body and believed in the mystery and sacrament of marriage, but to actually experience being a part of it is new and exciting. It's not better or more perfect than it was before (you can't improve on what is already perfect) but for me it is more complete. I love going to Mass with my husband :) I hope in the future as we face troubling times we can look to the Mass as something which can always bring us together and remind us of our wedding day.
On top of all of this, it has brought even more meaning to the words of our second reading from Ephesians 5
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.
This is a great mystery,
but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church.
In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself,and the wife should respect her husband.
If we are able to live out these words I am confident in our marriage. If we always remember that marriage is a reflection of Christ's love for the Church and strive to imitate and share this love we cannot go wrong.
And for good measure because no blog is complete without pictures here's a little sneak peek at one of our unedited wedding pics from the photographer (Susan Gilbert):
Happy 1 monthiversary!