On the solemnity of the Feast of the Holy Mother of God (Jan.1), I had the unique opportunity to attend and serve as a groomsman for my good friend and fellow pro-life activist, David MacDonald. David married the lovely Kirsten Harty, a Catholic convert and pro-life, Christian activist in her own right.
The wedding celebration was quite an experience. I don’t know what other people were experiencing at the Mass, but for me, standing at the front beside David, it was nothing short of “electric”. I’ve never felt anything like it. Ever. The Holy Spirit made a special appearance in a big way on Saturday. At times, I thought the roof would come off and the angels would appear. No kidding. It was an incredible experience. What made it all the more extraordinary was the presence of many non-Catholics – Evangelicals, Baptists, Pentecostals, Mainline, and a good number of agnostics too. And amazingly, the Spirit of God was rolling through the Church in a remarkable way. It showed me, once again, that the Spirit of God blows where it will and sometimes it breaks down boundaries and blows them up (at least to a point)! I had remarked to David just before the ceremony began that many graces were going to flow from this ceremony and their marriage, and that it would be used as an instrument of conversion in their familes and for those assembled.
Here are a few words that I shared with the couple and the assembled guests at the reception afterwards…
I’ve known David for over 12 years now. Our involvement stems from various church and pro-life events over the years. I can honestly say that David is one of the most genuine and transparent persons that I have ever met. He is a man who knows his limitations and is joyful despite them, and that’s why I believe that marriage is a wonderful vocation for him.
David and Kirsten,
Although you are 2 individual persons, now that you are married in Christ, you become 1 mystical body.
In the great ironies of life, although on one level you have lost some of your freedom, you’ve gained another kind of freedom which is much deeper and more sublime than the one you have given up. It is a freedom founded in Jesus’s love for the union of a man and a woman which is a tangible and real sign of His love for us. Because marriage is a sign of sacrifice, it is a sign of the cross.
In marriage, we choose to serve our spouse. That’s why love is not lust or an emotion. It is a decision of the will to sacrifice and to serve, from one moment to the next. We all have to serve something or someone. In this life, we will never be able to escape this truth. The question is not “if you serve”, but rather “who you serve”. Both of you have been serving Christ for many years, using your gifts and talents that God has given you. That will continue, but you’ll do so through and with one another from this day forward.
David, before Kirsten is your wife or your lover, she remains your best friend, first, before anything else. Marriage is a freedom of service and sacrifice. It is a freedom grounded in the truth of the Gospel message which includes laying down your life for your friend. That’s why in marriage, unlike most things in life, being in second place always means you win.
David and Kirsten, on behalf of my family and everyone assembled here, I wish you all the joy and fulfillment that marriage brings. May God Bless you both abundantly.