One of the blessings of working here in the Archdiocese of New York is the fact that only 13 floors above us is the office of Archbishop Timothy Dolan. With the way things have been going here in New York City in the past year, it is more than comforting to know that we have a pastor like Archbishop Dolan – so committed to fighting for the unborn and for the dignity of marriage that he places himself under-attack constantly. Through the events of the last twelve months, from the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and Mayor Bloomberg’s decision to purposely leave out clergy at the ceremony, the passing of an obnoxiously discriminative bill against Crisis Pregnancy Centers and the latest passing of the so-called “Marriage Equality” Bill legalizing the “marriage” of same-sex couples, Archbishop Dolan has been on the front lines. Lovingly yet unapologetic, he has remained firm in the Truth and Freedom that we cling to, amidst so many against him.
Today, Cristina and I had the opportunity to meet with Archbishop Dolan in preparation for our wedding. As we sat there recounting the love story that the Lord has written for us, the Archbishop sat there smiling and affirming us in the vocation which he described as being in “more of a crisis than the priesthood”.
What a blessing it was to share with our pastor, the man charged with leading this oh-so-busy and preoccupied Church here at the “Center-of-the-World” through the dark times that are inevitably approaching (if they’re not here already). He encouraged us to stand tall, to prepare for what “Christ Himself warned us about” and to do it all with Joy.
How beautiful it is to have a pastor – with more responsibility on his plate than we could ever imagine – set aside his time to celebrate the gift of marriage!
He mentioned that our testimony (and the testimony of all other young people living and spreading the freedom of chastity) is what encourages him when he finds himself attacked from all sides, that only by the witness of faithful and fruitful marriage will the Church stand strong in our time.
After offering us a blessing and asking for some help with his Spanish, he affirmed the fact that we now find ourselves – as practicing and faithful Catholics – as the new martyrs of this generation.
Coming away from this intimate encounter with such an important leader of our Church here in the US, we can’t help but reflect on the impact that each and every story we tell has on those around us.
God is so generous (too generous, for we do not deserve His blessings!) as He pours His grace on us throughout our lives. Instead of holding it inside, even if for “humble” reasons, we must give Him the Glory! He desires to be proclaimed through our lives, for His Romance story in EACH of our lives (be it religious, single, consecrated or marriage) is much better than any “romance” novel on the New York Times Bestseller list…..
……this generation needs to know that Twilight ain’t got nothin’ on this!