Friday, April 29, 2011

Set the World on Fire

Well my wife and I got up at 5 a.m. (Eastern ST) on April 29 to enjoy the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Katherine Middleton. It was, indeed, like a fairy tale, perfectly wonderful.

The Bishop of London's sermon offered much opportunity for reflection. Several excerpts:

-"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire." So said St Catherine of Siena whose festival day it is today. Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and truest selves.

-In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and the groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future.

-A spiritual life grows as love finds its centre beyond ourselves. Faithful and committed relationships offer a door into the mystery of spiritual life in which we discover this; the more we give of self, the richer we become in soul; the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves and our spiritual beauty is more fully revealed.

-In marriage we are seeking to bring one another into fuller life. It is of course very hard to wean ourselves away from self-centredness...

-Marriage should transform, as husband and wife make one another their work of art. It is possible to transform as long as we do not harbour ambitions to reform our partner. There must be no coercion if the Spirit is to flow; each must give the other space and freedom.

-Chaucer, the London poet, sums it up in a pithy phrase: “Whan maistrie [mastery] comth, the God of Love anon, Beteth his wynges, and farewell, he is gon.” As the reality of God has faded from so many lives in the West, there has been a corresponding inflation of expectations that personal relations alone will supply meaning and happiness in life.

This is to load our partner with too great a burden. We are all incomplete: we all need the love which is secure, rather than oppressive, we need mutual forgiveness, to thrive.

-In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy..."