Monday, October 19, 2015


Pic.: Pradeep Nanda
As Catholics, we are encouraged to go through a ‘marriage-preparation’ course when we plan to get married. For my wife and me, it was some twenty-five years ago. I remember the week-end course we had attended at Bandra Retreat Centre. Like us, there were so many other young couples, that particular week-end. What I remember the most is the opening statement of the facilitator. He said:
“To love someone is your decision.”
After twenty-five years, I can look back and say this, with all my honesty: It was not easy, always, to stand by that decision… There have been moments in our life - as in everyone else’s life – when we have doubted if it was the right decision… We have felt like giving up, running away… We have gone through the whole gambit of relationship… faith and fear, hope and despair, hurt and healing, anger and compassion, conflicts and forgiveness, romance, intimacy and indifference… And, we can look back and say, with great delight and pride, that we had taken the right decision a quarter century ago… to love each other and walk into the blessed sacrament of Matrimony…
Yes, to make another person my life partner is my greatest decision… What I did when I took that decision was to enter into a profound commitment… and not a contract. The marriage vow is studded with priceless and timeless wisdom:
“I ………, take you ………., to be my wedded wife (husband)...
To have and to hold, from this day forward,
for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish till death do us part, according to God’s Holy Law…
And, this is my solemn vow.”
As love-struck young couples, we don’t easily understand the significance of a marriage vow. That, what we walk into is a life-long commitment ruled and sanctified by God’s Holy Law… and, therefore, we need to renew it over and over and over again… That, we need to ‘work it out’ and not run away… That, we need to reconcile and grow and not cut and go…
Today, the young men and women are reluctant to make a commitment. They prefer contractual relationships… easy and convenient… with no regrets, guilt and sorrow whatever when called-off… Live-in when you like it and live-out when you don’t like it… Over!
Last night, my wife and I attended the engagement ceremony of Benita (our niece) with Cyril. I heard Fr. Donald telling us as he was blessing the rings – “The ring is a circle; and a circle has no beginning and no end… It represents eternity, renewal, wholeness, and perfection.”
“How true!” I heard my heart reminding me, “just the way God brings, through the Sun, Moon and the Planets, all life together, he brings together this young couple.”
Fittingly, while blessing the engagement rings, Fr. Donald had led us though the popular hymn:
Bind us together, Lord, Bind us together
With cords that cannot be broken.
Bind us together, Lord,
Bind us together,
Bind us together with love.
I cannot find a humbler and more sincere prayer to God, seeking His grace, when we exchange our rings of love.

1 comment:

anita said...

Superb jerry. I was reminded of my vow which I and George had taken 32 years back. Thanks.