A Marriage Renewed
It's a long and complicated journey not really suited for this style of quick blogging. Suffice it to say that my wife is a cradle catholic (baptized at birth) and she married me - a non-Catholic - which is allowed as long as our kids are baptized Catholic, which all of them were. I came late to the party. Once I converted through RCIA and baptism, we had to get our marriage recognized by the Church. Our original marriage, although officially recognized by the state of Montana was not done under the guidance of the Catholic Church and therefore would need to be redone. Until our marriage was official with the Church, neither of us would be allowed to take communion. I was ignorant to this and after my Baptism continued to take it. I was corrected by the Priest at our new church (Father Bart). My wife has not taken communion in a very long time, mostly out of ignorance to the process required (I will get into the alarming amount of ignorance on the part of cradle of Catholics regarding their own religion on a later post).
We scheduled an appointment with Father Bart to interview us regarding how we ended up where we are. I'm guessing it is part of the process for the Priest to get an understanding on how genuine our relationship is and the kinds of things we have been through. Once the interview was complete, we scheduled to have our vows renewed for the next day after Mass. My impression was that it was going to be a very quick process where Father Bart takes us into the side Chapel, blesses us, prays for us, hits us with some Holy Water and sends us on our way. I was incorrect. There were witnesses attending, we had to stand before Father Bart and put our rings on each other and read the vows just like an actual marriage. It was actually very refreshing and positive. 15 years ago I would have moped about the gushiness and sentiment involved in it. I was extremely immature and insecure back then. Chantal and I were so young when we got married (23 and 24 years old). We hadn't experienced much of anything and I had no idea what she was made of as we embarked on our journey into the United States Army. Over that time I watched her adapt, grow and become stronger all while being a devoted Wife and Mother. We have had very dark spots in our marriage exacerbated by the demands of the military and deployments to Afghanistan and Africa.
I say this only to emphasize how much more these vows meant to me at 36 years old having been with her for 12 years. I know her worth and am willing to fight tooth and nail for it. She cried during the little ceremony, which is about par for the course. Myself, I am pretty emotionally expressionless but I knew the moment was especially important to her so I made sure to look her directly in her eye and smile while we exchanged our vows. The best thing is that because our marriage is valid in the eyes of God, we get to be together forever, even the afterlife. This is real masculinity - the type of masculinity that needs to be passed down through our children. It isn't always rubbing dirt on our face and conquering. Being a protector and one who comforts and guides with compassion is one of the most masculine traits to develop.
Remember, Jesus said, "the Meek shall inherit the earth".
The original meaning of, "Meek" translates into something similar to, "Those who carry swords but choose to keep them sheathed".
Violenti Naturam. Praesentia Tranquillitas.