Sunday, September 23, 2012

Do Fairy Tales Come True?

This last Saturday I officiated Erika and William's wedding in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. What a special cosmopolitan couple! Their story is quite unique. Here are my remarks:

Do fairy tales come true? Well, that depends what you mean by a fairy tale. The first definition of a fairy tale, according to Webster's is, "a story involving fantastic forces and beings." Now, anyone who knows Erika and William, will tell you that they have no use for any type of such magical thinking.

Fortunately, Webster's has a second definition. According to this definition, a fairy tale is, "a story in which improbable events lead to a happy ending." If one tries, like Erika and William, to live life rationally, can one still believe that in our world there are such fairy tales?

I believe that you can. All you need to do is look at the extraordinary love story of Erika and William. What are the chances, after all, of these two coming together? Improbable, indeed. Then again these two, as individuals, exhibit character, that is almost improbable. Erika, well, you could just understate it, and say she took the road less traveled. Yup, all the way to mastering Spanish, and studying and working in Costa Rica, and at this point holding, as my dad would say, more degrees than a thermometer... And, William, well, they hardly use this quaint phrase anymore, but this is a self made man! You hear his story, and your average medical resident working 100 hours a week seems just down right lazy...

So, do fairy tales exist and come true? Not always. In fact, not often. That said, Erika and William in their story as individuals, and as a couple, show us that fairy tales do come true. They show us that there are stories, "in which improbable events lead to a happy ending..."

It does not end there, however. Anyone who knows Erika and William will tell you that there is something they feel very strongly about, in this regard. They both feel that there is a lot more we as a society and as individuals can and should do to make sure that more fairy tales come true for more people. Let us resolve to each heed this call in our lives. Let us resolve, as Erika and William have, to make more fairy tales become a reality.

Friday, September 7, 2012

There’s No Other Love in the World Like Yours

Last Sunday I co-officiated Katie and Josh's wedding at Lost Mission in the Texas Hill Country with Father Alejandro de Jesus. They chose a beautiful reading, which I referred to in my personal remarks. Here they are respectively:


There’s No Other Love in the World Like Yours – Author Unknown

There's no other love in the world like yours. There's no other life like the one you will share... As two pebbles in a pool spread ripples forever outward, your two lives will blend into one and widen and grow through all the days of your love. But each of you will still be you.

Two people, separate, original and independent, even in your togetherness. Just as the flame of two candles can burn apart from one another and yet blend their light to brighten the same room, you will be as one and still be two.

A wonderful adventure awaits you as you go forward from today to build a world as wide as your wishes and as dear as your dreams. It will be a world where even problems can bring you closer as you solve them together, a world where you can live the story of your love, a story that's never before been told. You've already shared so much from the time when you first met… And your marriage is the beginning of a deeper sharing, a wider awareness, a greater happiness. As you gaze outward in the same direction and look inward at the feelings that are closest to your heart. There's no other love in the world like yours.

There's no other life like the one you will share. And there's no joy to compare with the kind you've wished for today, tomorrow, and always.


I was really happy when Katie and Josh chose this last beautiful reading. It contains so many rich ideas about love and marriage. I wanted to touch upon just one that I feel is very true regarding Katie and Josh. This idea also connects to the Seven Jewish Wedding Blessings, which we will get to later in this ceremony.

One of the most incredible things about life is that we each are unique. Think about how mind boggling that is. We each are separate and unique beings. We each are here on this earth for a short time. We each walk this earth, and once we are gone, we are gone forever.

This can be disquieting or disconcerting, but it can also be invigorating and empowering. What I see in Josh and Katie's outlook on life is fortunately the latter. They truly savor and cherish life.

One of the most profound things one can experience in this limited time we have is true love, the kind of true love, where there is truly no other love in the world that is like it, the kind of love that is unique and singular. The way Katie speaks of Josh, and the way Josh speaks of Katie you sense quite clearly that this is what they have.

It is this love that the Seven Blessings allude to with their references to Adam and Eve. What we wish for every couple is that they love each other so much, that it is as if there are no others in the world besides them. This is what Katie and Josh exemplify in their relationship.

Katie and Josh, what we wish for you is that your happiness together continue, and that it be so great that indeed there be no joy to compare with it not only today, but tomorrow and always.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Great Power of Love and Sacrifice

This last Saturday I co-officiated Eve and Patrick's wedding at the Marty Leonard Chapel in the Fort Worth, Texas with my good friend, Deacon Mike Gesch. Here are my remarks:

Today we celebrate Eve and Patrick's mutual love in the context of their religious traditions. Though there are differences between their traditions, many of the ideas they celebrate regarding marriage are shared.

Both faiths emphasize the importance of finding the love of our lives, both faiths tell us that that love involves making sacrifices, and both faiths idealize marriage as the best vehicle for that mutual love and sacrifice between two loving individuals.

Eve and Patrick speak so lovingly about each other, that you know this is the type of love they share. Patrick says, "I am always happier when I am with her than when we are apart." Eve says, "I thank God everyday for making and bringing me my other half, soul mate, and best friend."

It is clear too that this love was not created in a vaccum. Both Eve and Patrick talk about what an incredible example their parents set for them with their love stories. And so this is in fact a multi-generational tale.

Eve and Patrick, what we wish for you is that continue this shared tradition. Continue to exhibit your romance for the next generation. Carry this love story forward, and may your children after you know the same joys of true love and sacrifice in the context of sturdy marital relationships.