Bonding With Baby Jesus

As many of you know by now, Wil and I are Catholic and are planning to marry in the Catholic Church; however, this was not what we originally wanted. When we first started planning everything, we told both our families that we wanted NO PARTS of a church ceremony. We haven't been to church in 23985723057 decades, we aren't particularly religious and we've been living in sin for almost 2 years, so we felt that a church ceremony would be incredibly hypocritical. Yeah, y'all can guess how the rest of that conversation played out. We're beginning our life together under the watchful, blessing eyes of Baby Jesus. End of story.

Well, there are a BUNCH of hoops that the Catholic Church makes you jump through in order to get married within its brick and mortar. First of all: IT'S EXPENSIVE! That's right, you have to PAY to get married in the Church. I guess it shouldn't have surprised me that we need to pay to use the space, but it did. I was also surprised when I saw a note in our paperwork that not-so-gently let us know that it's "okay" to tip the priest. Really, Jesus? Wow. 

We also had to pay to take a pre-marital survey, called the FOCCUS Pre-Marriage Inventory. It asked us extremely poignant questions, such as: "Are you concerned that homosexual feelings or behaviors could have a negative effect on your marital relationship?" and "Do you think you will feel uncomfortable being nude in front of your marriage partner?" I'm so glad that we got to take that test in the comfort of our home because I was laughing the WHOLE time while I was taking it. We have a date with our priest this Sunday to go over the results of our individual surveys. I really do hope that I can keep it together while we go over them. It's just that I find it hilarious that these are the burning questions that God needs answered appropriately before He will accept our marriage to each other. ::giggle::

We also had to spend a small fortune on a Pre-Cana course. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this course (and are too lazy to click the link to the Wikipedia article), let me briefly explain what this is. Pre-Cana is a course or consultation Catholic couples must undergo before they can be married in a Catholic church. I realize that it reads like a death sentence and that's exactly what Wil and I were preparing ourselves for two weekends ago, but our experience was exactly the opposite!

Both my mom and step dad live in Orange County, NY and since we don't get to see them too much, I thought it would be nice to find a church near them to complete our two-day course. Baby Jesus + Home-Cooked Meal = HEAVEN! We decided to sign-up at St. John the Evangelist Church in Goshen, NY. The classes ran from 7:30-10pm Friday night and 8:45-6:30pm Saturday. I know, it looks bad and we thought it was going to be bad, but here's a shocker: It wasn't.

Wil and I, heretics that we are, LOVED our Pre-Cana course! The couples who ran the weekend were VERY down-to-earth and approachable. They shared their own married life experiences with us and discussed how they resolved issues between them as they came up. The exercises we completed had us identify and discuss ways of dealing with issues in our own relationship. Of course we have NO issues, but there were still things that we were asked to discuss that we hadn't even thought about: Are we going to have a joint bank account? When would we like to start our family? Would one of us like to stay home with our children? Should we set up a life insurance policy? These are all questions that we hadn't even thought about asking each other, not because we were afraid to ask, but because we didn't know to ask them. 

Our last assignment was to a write letter to each other saying why we wanted to marry the other person. Before I tell you about how beautiful this particular experience was, let me tell you about how some of the other couples approached this task: They didn't. The couple that was sitting across from me (we weren't supposed to be sitting near each other while we were doing this either) was just doodling on the paper! The guy actually ended up crumbling his up and throwing it at his fiancee! I was appalled by this couple and the others that were being as disrespectful. 

I thought this was the most important task of the weekend. I sat with my looseleaf paper and cried...and cried...and cried. I was so completely overwhelmed by and overjoyed about the opportunity to put all my feelings for the love of my life on paper, that the tears just came and wouldn't stop. I was crying so hard while I was writing my letter that I couldn't even see the lines on which I was putting my words. I tell and show Wil how much I love him everyday, but had never written those sentiments in ink. The feelings that came over me were so powerful, they shook me. While the people across from me were playing table tennis with their letters, I kept writing and writing until I didn't have any room left to write. That's how I feel about my love for Wil: It just doesn't fit because there's just too much. I am so happy and content that it's impossible for me to contain my feelings. I wear my joy on my face, show it off through my body lauguage and use it to punctuate every sentence I speak. I tried as best I could to explain to Wil in human language why I want to marry him, but I think my words failed me; only God knows why. Maybe that was the point of the exercise, for us to be confronted by that task only to realize that words are not enough to describe the way we feel about the person we've chosen to spend the rest of our life with. 

After we wrote our letters, we had to read them to each other. Wil's letter to me was so honest and sweet, just like his love for me. We both held one another and cried together. I'm so blessed to have the love of a man like Wilfredo Rivera. I can't wait to be his wife and bear his children! God, I love this man! We were given envelopes to place our letters into and were asked to seal them. We have to read them to each other on our first wedding anniversary. 

With that, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the point of this blog post: Bonding with Baby Jesus can be a wonderful experience, one that you do not have to be active in the Church to appreciate and grow from.

4 comments

Nancys said... March 14, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Just speechless.

Anonymous said... March 14, 2011 at 6:05 PM

FROM : JAY KAIN : That Was Very Beautiful Siss .... I gotta say , Not many men would have done that ... Crying included ... But - That's just it ... What you have is a Real Man , Who is not afraid to show you - How Much He loves You . I couldn't be more Happy For U & Wil ....

Danfredo Rivera said... March 14, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Thanks, big brother! I could ask for a better partner. ;-)

talesfromthenursery said... March 15, 2011 at 9:42 PM

That's awesome Danielle!

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