Yesterday, my oldest daughter, Cathy, married the love of her life. The small outdoor wedding was held at Santa Fe Dam.
Cathy and Mike are amazing people. They are committed to growing together into better people and to making a difference in their world. Frankly, I wish I had been more others-concerned when I was their age.
The days leading up to their wedding, I reflected on my life with Cathy. Memories of her as an infant, a toddler, a child, a teenager, and a young woman filled my mind. I remember things like her sitting on my lap as a little girl to read a book together. Holding my hand as we walked together. Squealing in delight as we played tag. Giggling with joy at something silly. Introducing another child she had just met at McDonalds as her new friend. I remember her unbridled enthusiasm, her deep love of animals, her wonderful artistic abilities, her incredible imagination, her theological questions. Cathy is bursting with feelings and emotions, driven by a keen mind, expansive imagination, and determined spirit.
And through all of those memories is a constant love she has for our family — for her mom, for her siblings, for her grandparents, for me. Our family is more vibrant, more colorful, more exciting because of her shared life with us. I am privileged to be her dad and friend and to watch her grow into the vibrant, enthusiastic, compassionate young woman.
Today Cathy transitions from my daughter to Mike’s wife. Mike is Cathy’s exact counterpart — equally creative, compassionate, intelligent, and vibrant. They both approach life with incredible zest and optimism. I’m proud to welcome him into our family. It’s no wonder that Cathy has chosen to share her life with his. And their marriage ceremony reflected all the good about them. It was a wonderful event!
But most importantly, both of them enter into a sacramental covenant with each other, one that reflects the mysterious and powerful relationship between Christ and his people. Through this covenant, two people become one person. As Mike and Cathy learn to grow together, will the good of the other, and sacrificially submit to each other, they embody a union and love more powerful than any other force.
I love the following quote from Elder Aimilianos as he describes the living sacrament of marriage:
“Marriage is a journey of love. It is the creation of a new human being, a new person, for as the Gospel says, ‘the two will be as one flesh’. God unites two people, and makes them one. From this union of two people, who agree to synchronize their footsteps and harmonize the beating of their hearts, a new human being emerges. Through such profound and spontaneous love, the one becomes a presence, a living reality, in the heart of the other. ‘I am married’ means that I cannot live a single day, even a few moments, without the companion of my life. My husband, my wife, is part of my being, of my flesh, of my soul. He or she complements me. He or she is the thought of my mind. He or she is the reason for which my heart beats… in marriage, it seems that two people become together. However, it’s not two but three. The man marries the woman, and the woman marries the man, but the two together also marry Christ. So three take part in the mystery, and three remain together in life.”
Today, Mike and Cathy begin their new life together. Whatever the future holds, whatever they encounter on their journey — the joys, the stresses, the milestones — they will do so together. One person, one life, one love.