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Archive for December 29th, 2018

Leaps of Faith

In a year of living joyfully ( with the birth of our first grandchild), this Septembeadded the blessing of the marriage of our son. Adding blessing to blessing, my son and his fiancé asked me to officiate at their wedding (as did my daughter and son-in-law just a few years ago). We have so very much to be grateful for and I am overwhelmed by the huge privilege and gift  of being asked to serve in this way as a father.  

The wedding was at the Old Stone Mill in the heart of the NY Botanical Garden. Graced with a beautiful, sun drenched, and thankfully cool Autumn day, the elegant and simple service opened before a flowered archway framed by great trees all around and the sound and sights of the fast running Bronx River behind us. 

This was for us all a welcome oasis hideaway well beyond the hustlebustle of the asphalt jungle that lie all around the Garden and that, delightfully, was nowhere to be seen or heard from once inside the confines of this special place. It was, for all eightyfive plus folks that made their way there, a place beyond time: a fitting sanctuary for the celebration of love. 

Such moments as these are always elevated by the small details that become etched forever in memory. I shared the gift of my memories with those gathered of my son’s love of facts and discovery and his passion for the big questions, and stories of my new daughter- in-law’s grace and artistry in making everything she touches beautiful. I celebrated their complementarity, their different gifts, and the way those differences combine now to form a new braided reality, a garland of joyful intention that will now reshape the future and define its textures and contours.

It was, after all, at a wedding in Cana, at the request of his mother Mary, that Jesus performed his first miracle of changing water to wine: a miracle in response to a mundane challenge  they had run out of wine. This got me to thinking about what the sacramental union of partners is really all about. It is, without question, a divine alchemy: turning a thing of silver into gold. 

On Saturday, along the banks of the Bronx River, two worlds quietly kissed to form a new and greater reality that wasn’t there before. Such an alchemy happens at every Eucharist when bread and wine are consecrated to form something new: a perpetual act of recreation. It is a transformation powered by love and hope. 

In making their vows to each other, Bride and Groom boldly announced their intention to be made new, with God’s help and with their tender yet unshakable resolve to always be for each other. The real magic happens in choosing to help each other become the best versions of ourselves possible! 

When they first met,  my son and daughter in law enjoyed a first date at the movies. They brought with them a hidden beverage, a favorite of theirs, in an unremarkable thermos to be enjoyed as they watched the film. It was a gin and tonic. So, befitting their styles and good-hearted sense of humor, and in celebration of how their relationship all began, they surprised guests with a new take on the unity vase. 

Instead of colored sand or two candles lighting a third and larger one, they chose, instead, to pour gin and tonic into a a now remarkable vessel to share this mixed drink to one another just before a final blessing. It was unique and everyone enjoyed their signature fun moment. 

Taken alone, tonic is bitter. With added gin, it becomes a zesty and celebratory concoction full of more complex notes of taste and sensation, and such is the blessing of marriage. 

So, my wife and I give thanks for the delicious happenings in this blessed year  new life, great hope, and a deep conviction that God invites us all to full engagement with all the simple acts of grace and the gifts of loving fellowship that elevate our simple moments to something wonderful! 

Peace and Joy.

© The Harried Mystic, 2018 and Br. Anton, TSSF. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 

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