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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Wedding Police

The biggest discussion we've had going on has been over the strapless wedding gown dilemma. It didn't seem like such a terrible dilemma to me and neither does this dust up:

Followup wedding question: My 40-some-year old aunt announced last summer that she's marrying her long-term live in boyfriend. I was very happy for her. Then she mentioned that he's divorced. And she doesn't want any presents from me...she just wants me to come to the wedding.

Now I don't have any idea what to do. She converted from Catholicism to something related to Mennonites years ago. She said for all they know the ex-wife is deceased but I'm not sure how much detective work I want to put into this (and I don't want to wish anyone dead!)

I contemplated making up some excuse for not going but a. I really can't think of one and b. this seems like the wimpy way out. I love my aunt, I want her to know I love her, but I can't think of any solution that doesn't come as a slap in the face to her and have the whole family denouncing me as an evil bigot(ok, I'm exagerating. Slightly)

And I'm spending Christmas with all of them.

Just go to the wedding and keep your trap shut. Your patron saint of the day: St. Raymond Nonnatus, who had his yapper padlocked to stop his incessant preaching.

News flash: Catholics are allowed to go to other churches and denominations and sit in attendance at whatever is going on there short of genuine evil and Satanic rituals. Once they avoid anything involving Ouija Boards, Catholics can trot on over and celebrate the weddings of their Separated Brethren, be they Baptist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian or Mennonites.

Consider yourself off the hook as the Catholic police for this one. You beloved Auntie was a Catholic. She knows the rules. Of course we are concerned with the state of her immortal soul, but.....

Where was everybody while she was living in with the live in boyfriend? is what I'd like to know. Suddenly, the wedding is a problem?

Look at it this way: when a person takes on evangelizing and trudges into a halfway house, the first move is not to finger wag about what a bunch of hopeless sinners they all are. First, we take care of the body, the safety, the sense of well being and pull the person back from the brink. All the while, we lead by example and we gently nudge and pray and always hope.

You've missed your window of opportunity for scolding. All that is left is to try love. St. Micheal the Archangel
Patron Saint of Police


Gardenia said...

I'm glad that's settled! Sister, my secretary suffers from hives. I've researched whether there is a patron saint for the cure from hives, but can only find a patron for skin disease (St. Peregrine or St. Lazarus of Dives). Those hives are almost a hopeless cause for her, but I wouldn't want to give her a St. Jude medal -- i think that would depress her. Any saint who helps those with hives??

Monique said...

Great advice! :)

Junosmom said...

Excellent post. And I like the hat on "your" photo.

Tienne said...

"Where was everybody while she was living in with the live in boyfriend? is what I'd like to know. Suddenly, the wedding is a problem?"

Oh, SISTER! This is why I love you so much!!

Defensive Husband said...

As the husband of the much-maligned poster, I'd like the opportunity to respond.

We appreciate the emphasis on charity, but perhaps the central difficulty is being lost in the details. It ain't the Protestant thing or even the unchastity thing.

This is the problem: Dear Old Auntie's marrying a divorced man -- that is, another man's wife, according to Jesus. Or at least, maybe she is -- we don't have the eyes of God to evaluate his first marital consent and they don't have canon lawyers to grant annulments (that's the point of the Protestant thing).

"Everyone" in the family doesn't care about live-in boyfriends and the like. My wife did not speak up about it, maybe due to lack of charity, mostly because the whole family already thinks my wife's a prude for being interested in quaints notions like chastity and natural family planning.

We (my wife and I) have always tolerated their live-in status, never celebrated it. We thought that was a loving response, if perhaps a cowardly one, and we hoped they would grow out of their "living in sin" phase and get married -- before we knew he was divorced.

Where we aren't yet at peace is celebrating their arguably polygamous marriage; we would again tolerate it and continue to love them, hoping for the best (that the first marriage is not still going on in the eyes of God).

But we could get to be at peace, I suppose. Reminding us that charity is primary and "cooperation with evil" a secondary concern is helpful. So thank you.

Claudia said...

There are a lot of people who if it is not a problem can make it a problem.

My father was one of them. At the age of 85 he wondered if his mother had an affair with her German boyfriend and his father was really German instead of the Irish one of record. When I asked him what difference did it matter now he got angry at me. ???????

Go figure !!!!

JP said...

To Defensive Husband

I can see where you're coming from for sure, but I offer you this.

If Auntie has converted to a denomination, is the fact that she's divorced still a problem?

I am not certain of the answer but I offer that to you.

Tami said...

Thank you for another good bit of advice. I love your point about our need to be loving, and show a good example. So many times it is so easy for us to be judgemental. The sin of pride is a dangerous one, and I find one more challenging to conquer than others.