I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth.-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Mona's Musings

April 29th, 2011

A Royal Wedding Speech to Live By

The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Dr Richard Chartres KCVO, Bishop of London, gave the following address yesterday (April 29th) at the Marriage of HRH Prince William of Wales with Miss Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey.

MUSE WITH ME: WHAT PART OF THIS SPEECH DO YOU FIND THE MOST MEANINGFUL?

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“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” So said St Catherine of Siena whose festival day this is. Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and their truest selves.

Many people are fearful for the future of today’s world but the message of the celebrations in this country and far beyond its shores is the right one – this is a joyful day! It is good that people in every continent are able to share in these celebrations because this is, as every wedding day should be, a day of hope.

In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future.

William and Catherine, you have chosen to be married in the sight of a generous God who so loved the world that he gave himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ.

In the Spirit of this generous God, husband and wife are to give themselves to each other.

The spiritual life grows as love finds its centre beyond ourselves. Faithful and committed relationships offer a door into the mystery of spiritual life in which we discover this: the more we give of self, the richer we become in soul; the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves and our spiritual beauty is more fully revealed. In marriage we are seeking to bring one another into fuller life.

It is of course very hard to wean ourselves away from self-centredness. People can dream of such a thing but that hope should not be fulfilled without a solemn decision that, whatever the difficulties, we are committed to the way of generous love.

You have both made your decision today – “I will” – and by making this new relationship, you have aligned yourselves with what we believe is the way in which life is spiritually evolving, and which will lead to a creative future for the human race.

We stand looking forward to a century which is full of promise and full of peril. Human beings are confronting the question of how to use wisely the power that has been given to us through the discoveries of the last century. We shall not be converted to the promise of the future by more knowledge, but rather by an increase of loving wisdom and reverence, for life, for the earth and for one another.

Marriage should transform, as husband and wife make one another their work of art. It is possible to transform so long as we do not harbour ambitions to reform our partner. There must be no coercion if the Spirit is to flow; each must give the other space and freedom. Chaucer, the London poet, sums it up in a pithy phrase:

“Whan maistrie [mastery] comth, the God of Love anon, Beteth his wynges, and farewell, he is gon.”

As the reality of God has faded from so many lives in the West, there has been a corresponding inflation of expectations that personal relations alone will supply meaning and happiness in life. This is to load our partner with too great a burden. We are all incomplete: we all need the love which is secure, rather than oppressive. We need mutual forgiveness in order to thrive.

As we move towards our partner in love, following the example of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is quickened within us and can increasingly fill our lives with light. This leads on to a family life which offers the best conditions in which the next generation can receive and exchange those gifts which can overcome fear and division and incubate the coming world of the Spirit, whose fruits are love and joy and peace.

I pray that all of us present and the many millions watching this ceremony and sharing in your joy today will do everything in their power to support and uphold you in your new life. I pray that God will bless you in the way of life you have chosen. That way which is expressed in the prayer that you have composed together in preparation for this day:

God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage.

In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.

Strengthened by our union help us to serve and comfort those who suffer. We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

As posted on the website: independent catholic news

 

 

 

Postscript: As her Majesty has been ever so gracious as to allow us the privilege of living amongst her subjects for the past year, partaking of all the social and public amenities usually extended loyal Brits, I feel it is proper to graciously celebrate the Royal Wedding by also recommending to you the appropriate Musings:


Fit For a Queen


A Castle Built for Two

Hint of Romance

“Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and their truest selves.”

What did you think of this musing?

Join the discussion!

Discussion

  1. maritza ardila- perez says:

    I think the mean of Marriage is a blessing from God. To be together to be consecrated to state Matrimony, I think is an excellent mystery,that maybe is a signified and can represented in the spiritual married and unity according to God word.

    • mona says:

      Yes, Maritza, an “excellent mystery” it is true. Every marriage is based on foundational principles, but in the end, each union is a “mystery”, known only to the two people who ‘belong to the club’.

  2. Mattye Katter says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. The wedding was broadcast so early in the morning here that I only saw the recap of the vows on the news. I think he did a great job of describing marriage. When we focus our love on serving and lifting each other we can’t help but have the spirit with us. Marriages and families will be stronger when we do. I’m not much of a writer but he put it very well.

    • mona says:

      Yes, and his encouragement to look to God to help fulfill our spiritual and emotional needs, not just to our partner — that is too great a load for any one person. When our deepest needs are met by the Spirit, we are able to love so much more fully.

  3. Heidi says:

    There are so many parts that I love. But this part especially stood out to me: Marriage should transform, as husband and wife make one another their work of art. It is possible to transform so long as we do not harbour ambitions to reform our partner. There must be no coercion if the Spirit is to flow; each must give the other space and freedom.

  4. I loved it–all of it. Absolutely beautiful, and really boils life down to its essence, for individuals, couples and families. Love the thoughts on service, both to each other and others outside the union.

    Thanks for posting this!

    • mona says:

      You are so welcome! I could hardly believe my ears when I heard it – live of course, here in Europe. I’m so thankful this couple decided to be married and to hare it in such a way with the world.

  5. Diana Coatney says:

    I loved it also! So many parts of it touch my spiritual heart strings, and I was amazed at how many of the things he said coincided with my views on what marriage should include. His opening definition ” Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and their truest selves.” brought tears to my eyes as I thought about it in regards to my own marriage. How grateful I am for a partner who encourages me to become what ‘God meant me to be’.
    I also loved his paragraph on how our spiritual life grows as we give of ourselves to our partner and to others. “The spiritual life grows as love finds its centre beyond ourselves. Faithful and committed relationships offer a door into the mystery of spiritual life in which we discover this: the more we give of self, the richer we become in soul; the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves and our spiritual beauty is more fully revealed. ” I think that is what this life is all about learning to have this love or Charity for others and thus becoming more like our Saviour, Jesus Christ, who had perfect love or Charity for everyone.
    Thanks for posting this it filled my heart with hope to see that there are in this world people who are willing to voice such thoughts on a world stage; sometimes I think it is easier to think we are the only ones fighting for truth.

    • mona says:

      Diane! So lovely to hear from you. Your thoughts are always so insightful and heartfelt. YES, you are so right about all you say. I felt too that hope you talk about — I believe most people want these ideals very badly, deep down, but are afraid to believe in them or to risk trying to reach them. This is what Mona’s Musings with a Hint of Romance is all about, I only want to give hope and a reason to TRY to live up and by ideals — I try to give what proof I can that they DO work and ARE worth it! This summer, I will begin writing about OTHER people’s “real romances” here at this blog, and would like very much to include you and Tom.

      • Diana Coatney says:

        You can inculde us if you want although even though I think our
        love is wonderful; our romance is really not so different from many
        others out there. You’re great, thanks for thinking of us.

  6. maritza ardila- perez says:

    Dear Mona,
    Thanks for this ” Mona’s Musings with a Hint Romance” all the comments are brilliant!
    I read in the special souvenirs issue Prince Williams and Catherine” ” special message from William and kate as they Celebrate their Marriage” I love they gratitude. quotes ” we are both delighted that you are able to join us in celebrating what we hope will be one of the happiest days of our lives” To conclude my personal view of this quote. I think is marvellous comment and in addition, I would like to pointed that I have met one of the most beautiful couple in this world, and I believe they so are humble in the marriage,they work together as couple, showing friendship, romance, understanding, compassion, love one another. The wonderful couple for me are Mona and Dale. I think you are Queen “Mona” and Prince” B. Dale”. I believe You will be forever, congratulations to the happy couple. God bless you! love to both of you Maritza. PS Beautiful” Royal Wedding”

  7. Trina says:

    I loved so much of this talk. I don’t want to repeat whats already been commented on, it would sound much the same but I’d like to add. The comment “In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future” rang true. And those sealed together truly are royal, future kings and queens of many worlds and creations- How insightful.

    I was impressed with the wedding- the beautiful ceremony that incorporated so much of our Heavenly Father as well as the beauty of the bride and groom, the decor, the awe and love from the crowd etc. I couldn’t help but think how much more perfect it would have been in the temple. Although those things we witnessed are very wonderful, nothing compares to being sealed to that person you love for eternity and knowing blessings will come that are beyond any riches, fame, power or otherwise that we can receive here on earth. After the wedding last week I came away feeling uplifted, inspired and privileged.

  8. I feel as though truth always calls me in a myriad of ways, echoing a similar message over and over. I just finished reading a wonderful book called “The seven levels of intimacy” In which the author, Mathew Kelly, spoke beautifully on this very concept. The idea of supporting and inspiring your spouse in their quest to become the best version of them-self.

    And here it is again, what better message could be given at such a momentous wedding! For wasn’t it this very message that Christ himself brought to the world? Giving us all such a love that one can not remain stagnant in it, but grow and flourish until we have become all that God intends us to be.

    Beautiful and inspiring thoughts. I have enjoyed all of the comments as well.

    • mona says:

      Heidi! I am looking for my next book on marriage (I’m ALWAYS studying). Thank you for mentioning this one! I’ll let you know when I’ve finished it and we can talk some more. And I agree – it IS the message of the Savior overall.

  9. Rebecca says:

    This was a stunningly beautiful speech, I thought. I haven’t read all the posts, so I’m probably being repetitive…. The opening quote was a powerful reminder to be true to oneself, and let our unique gifts shine their brightest, as these are the ways we will impact our world and our lives the most: “Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire”. Also, what was said about marriage partners becoming “their deepest and their truest selves” was moving to me. After all, where else except in a loving marriage do we have such rich opportunities to grow? Last but not least, “…the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves and our spiritual beauty is more fully revealed.” That says it all for me. Thank you for posting this wonderful speech and taking our comments!

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