Wedding Anniversary Toast

The Diocese of Long Island yesterday honored couples married fifty years and more. The longest marriage (so far!) is 69 years in the making! I was asked to toast those we honored with a lunch following the celebration of Eucharist. Here is my effort:

In one sense the passage of time is just the flowing of a massive stream that began at the very beginning of all.

We haven’t visited its headwaters, and we won’t be there when time’s current pours at last into eternity’s embrace.

But in another sense time is the space within which we live, and find each other, and bring our lives together into one. We call that time together ‘love’, and that is the truth.

That is our truth. And in that place called time we know one another better, we struggle and strain, we suffer and exult, we deepen our commitment to one another and we tell the story of who we are.

Now, in this moment in time, we pause to invite you to this:

To recall the time gone by,
To give thanks for all that has been,
To embrace this present time, and your beloved,
And to walk on in knowing love along the banks as time’s mighty stream moves still.

To each of you, and to the story, told and untold, of your life as husband and wife!

(9.6.14)

Unbidden

Outside Saint Mary's Hall, Boston College, Chestnut Hill campus
Outside Saint Mary’s Hall, Boston College, Chestnut Hill campus

The truest freedom comes

and confidently announces its name

in a whisper,
by the realization received that
I don’t really matter, or rather
that I have my place in all that is
without all the crazy striving
the accomplishing the pushing the
transmuting of be into do,
the feathering of my own nest.

The best truth comes unbidden
just knowing without learning
that the best feathers have always been
not those I have carefully collected and
examined identified and named,
but instead the ones that simply drifted down
unbidden through life’s air and landed
in their comfort, where they are meant to be
according to the Love who every morning
is challenged, and every evening repeats
as the light dies, nevertheless,
this shall be.

[JPM, 9.3.14]