Saturday, September 30, 2006
Today we hosted a marriage enrichment day in the parish. It was led by Fr Martin O'Connor, a Legionary priest who has run a number of similar days in different parts of the world. Fourteen couples were present and seemed to enjoy the occasion. They had two talks on the meaning of marriage, a holy hour with Confessions available and ending with Benediction, and then a session when the couples spent time alone talking to their spouse about what they had heard. They then joined us for the evening Mass during which they publicly renewed their marriage vows.
I was pleased that Fr Martin had come to run the day as it meant I had time to talk to two young men about a vocation to the priesthood. I ask you to keep them both in your prayers.
Later I went to visit a couple who married August last year and who had their first child two weeks ago. She will be baptised tomorrow. It was lovely to see how much they doted on their new baby: always being aware of her and checking on her needs. Together they wondered at the gift of life: this precious infant, the fruit of their love. It made me think how much a child enriches a marriage. As Pope John Paul reminded us, we have to promote a culture of life. Part of this is encouraging couples to be generous towards God in bringing new life into the world, reminding them that children are a blessing, and that the presence of brothers and sisters is more important than providing material goods for their children.
Tomorrow that couple will hand their child back to God from whom they received her. She will be born into eternal life through the waters of baptism and her parents will assume the duties and responsibilities of bringing her up in the faith. As priests it is good that we too look with awe and wonder on the gift of a newborn child. We are called to draw people's attention to the supernatural dimension of ordinary life. That includes reminding couples that their love is called to reflect the love of God and that children will enrich that love.