In honor of our 25th wedding anniversary today and especially in honor of Katie, the only person I know who would gladly swim off one of the Aran Islands in March and without whose courage and goodness (who knows?) I might not have had what it takes to stick with a marriage, even to such an exceptional person, for 25 years, or long enough to become a Catholic who, now bolstered by faith, upholds and defends the inviolability of marriage between a man and a woman, and especially this man and this woman—In honor of all this, I say, I’ll quote a few excerpts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the subject of matrimony. Words to live by—
1602 Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a vision of “the wedding-feast of the Lamb.” Scripture speaks throughout of marriage and its “mystery” . . .
1603 . . . God himself is the author of marriage. . . .
1604 God who created man out of love also calls him to love—the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being.
1613 On the threshold of his public life Jesus performs his first sign—at his mother’s request—during a wedding feast. . . .
1617 The entire Christian life bears the mark of the spousal love of Christ and the Church.
1640 . . . the marriage bond has been established by God himself in such a way that a marriage concluded and consummated between baptized persons can never be dissolved.
1641 . . . The grace proper to the sacrament of Matrimony is intended to perfect the couple’s love and to strengthen their indissoluble unity. By this grace they “help one another to attain holiness in their married life and in welcoming and educating their children.”
1642 Christ is the source of this grace. . . .
1643 “Conjugal love involves a totality, in which all the elements of the person enter . . . “
1644 The love of the spouses requires, of its very nature, the unity and indissolubility of the spouses’ community of persons, which embraces their entire life . . .
1646 By its very nature conjugal love requires the inviolable fidelity of the spouses.
1648 It can seem difficult, even impossible, to bind oneself for life to another human being. This makes it all the more important to proclaim the Good News that God loves us with a definitive and irrevocable love, that married couples share in this love, that it supports and sustains them, and that by their own faithfulness they can be witnesses to God’s faithful love.
Happy anniversary, darling.