I had a very encouraging experience the other night. In meeting with an engaged couple preparing for their wedding this fall, we were discussing the beauty of marriage as a Sacrament.
Most young couples aren’t likely to read a council document on their own, but Gaudium et Spes #48 is so worth their attention before the big day that I can’t resist giving them at least a taste. So I usually summarize that section for them. With this particular couple, I quoted the beautiful teaching of Vatican II that, in Holy Matrimony, “spouses mutually bestow and accept each other.” They were both visibly impacted by the depth and grandeur of that description.
We talked a bit about the gift of self, the act of love, and the freedom of sacrifice. The three of us agreed that, if people understood what the Church teaches about marriage, they couldn’t help but be impressed. The bride even said to me that, as the wedding day grows closer, she is growing more excited for the nuptial Mass than for the reception. In an age of rank confusion about Holy Matrimony, I was delighted beyond compare at her words.
What a gift it is to be a priest! I have the privilege of witnessing nearly every day similar occasions of growth and grace. Those moments are the wellspring of my own excitement!