On Friday last my family and I had the happy pleasure of attending the wedding of the eldest son of some close friends of ours who are part of our local Catholic home school community, and today I thought I would share with readers a few of the impressions I had throughout the evening. I do this simply to offer hope to those who struggle so valiantly each day in their own families and places of work to build up the Church, and who, as a result, are sometimes tempted to despair at a culture that seems hell-bent (I use that phrase purposely) on destroying itself and everyone in it. We need to remember how small the amount of yeast is that is needed to leaven the dough.
Besides the fact that the weather proved a beautiful and sunny 70-something degree day and the trees had just finished coming into leaf, the first thing I noticed was the vast number of children—there were children everywhere. Half the guests at this fairly large wedding had to have been children. I was struck by their numbers. There was a large meadow behind the reception hall and throughout the evening there was forever a group of at least 30 to 40 children running around playing games, and there were no parents hovering around telling them to be careful or to watch out. They were simply having fun and their vitality was palpable.
The second thing I noticed was that all of these children came from their original two parent homes and had fathers and mothers who were actively involved in their lives. They were beautiful (and often large) Catholic families. At the reception I noticed a number of mothers (with babies) talking, often with other high school daughters nearby. The same could be said of the fathers, with their high school sons close at hand. Best of all, I don’t really remember anyone sitting around hooked into technology or constantly checking their social media accounts.
I felt (and continue to feel) blessed to be part of such a group, a group that will undoubtedly provide our next generation of priests, religious and Catholic families, and possibly even spouses for my children.
Lest anyone think the evening was a walk through the daffodils, I should tell you that there was a “Smore’s Bar” complete with open flames and wooden roasting skewers, which any resourceful two-year-old could have gotten, and did get, hold of. Parents, you haven’t lived until you have tried to navigate a crowded room with young children in possession of what looked like wooden knitting needles (only much sharper), melting chocolate (which by this time was all over their hand and my clothes) and fiery marshmallows! It would be better to describe the evening as organized chaos.
The wedding itself was beautifully and reverently celebrated and I hope I can say the music added to the solemnity of the day.
From what I read and hear, this situation is currently being played out in many other small communities throughout our corner of the world—a new springtime of Faith. I don’t pretend that there won’t be difficulties or even persecutions (our Lord promised us both) but I do have reason to hope, and this hope leads to joy, which should be the mark of every Christian.