Thursday, February 9, 2017

My Married Friends and Lent

The other night I was out for dinner with some friends of mine and some mutual friends came up in the conversation.  In speaking about these mutual friends, I repeated something that I have said many times over the years: "I loved their wedding!"  Adam and Jen's wedding was so perfect because it was all about the Sacrament.  I remember them asking me, "So, how many people have to be at the wedding?"  I told them that they both needed to be there, I needed to be there, and two witnesses. As it turns out, the wedding was slightly larger than that. Maybe 25 or so people? Adam wore a shirt and tie. Jen wore a light blue dress. They weren't really interested in walking down the incredibly long aisle of St. Mary's Church. Instead, the three of us met in the sacristy before Mass and then walked out the short way to the altar. They wanted a full Mass.  Afterwards, we went to a small restaurant a few doors down from the church for lunch, and Adam and Jen took the train to Portland, Maine for a weekend honeymoon.  It was a GREAT wedding.

There was a big snowstorm in Boston today, and since the University where I work was closed, I stayed home and cleaned my room. Although I don't own much, somehow stuff accumulates. I began the process of throwing stuff away. Wow, for somebody who doesn't own much, I own a lot of stuff! Part of the reason I'm doing this is because I realize Lent is approaching and I feel this need to clear out some of the clutter in my life so that I can better hear the voice of God. Sure, I mean the physical clutter that sits on my shelves, in drawers, and on my desk. But I also mean the things that clutter my time and attention. I don't know what this all means exactly, but I have the sense that my Lent is intended to be one where I remove those things that hinder me from living a deeper spiritual life.

Like I said, I don't know the exact specifics of what this will entail for Lent, but I think it is a movement of grace. And just as I was sitting here and thinking about that, Adam (the groom from that wedding) tagged me in a photo on Facebook from his Nuptial Mass. This photo was like a confirmation that indeed my inclination for Lent this year is correct.  What made Adam and Jen's wedding so memorable to me that I still talk about it so many years later? It was beautiful because it was uncluttered. It was all about Adam and Jen receiving the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.  Their wedding was dignified, simple, beautiful, and holy.  That photograph is like an icon for me for Lent this year. I want to remove the clutter from my life--physical and spiritual--so that I can focus on what is truly important. 

That photo and the memory which it evokes assures me that this Lent, I am called to simplify.  Thanks Adam and Jen. 

1 comment:

  1. Being a parishioner of St. Mary's, I can tell you that Adam and Jen continue to live the Sacrament of Marriage to the fullest. I see them at Mass with their son, and what's especially impressive to me is when I see them in the lower church, waiting to go to confession.For older people like me, who feel the Church and world are falling apart, they are a light in the darkness and a sure sign of hope for the future.