To my dear friend Mr. D.,
Yesterday I witnessed your union in holy matrimony to a woman who is now Mrs. D. In honor of your wedding, I have composed this letter-prayer for you and your bride:
Mr. and Mrs. D., thank you so much for inviting me to witness your wedding. It was a musical and liturgical delight, a true celebration of the Church, gathered together to rejoice in the sacrificial and delightful union of husband and wife which both prefigures the union of Christ and the Church as the Primordial Sacrament and is fulfilled as a Christian sacrament in Christ’s powerfully loving sacrifices for the Church universal, his Incarnation and Crucifixion.
Thank you for celebrating your wedding in light of the Feast of the Incarnation, which we all celebrated just two weeks ago. Your liturgy and your love sang into my heart, reminding me of my own wedding liturgy, of all that Christ and the Church and my husband, Mr. B., do for me every day.
Here is my prayer for you, Mr. D.: I hope Mrs. D. does for you what my husband does for me.
I hope she annoys the Hell out of you.
I hope Mrs. D. asks you to do things for her: to wash the dishes even though you’re the one who cooked; to fold the laundry while she has cocktails with her friends; to proofread her grad school essays before she turns them in. I hope this annoys you, and I hope you do it anyway, because then you’ll be serving Mrs. D like Christ serves the Church, doing things for her even though she doesn’t deserve it. Because that’s how you grow in virtue.
I hope when you get annoyed with Mrs. D., you [usually] remember to ask yourself: “Would Christ wash the dishes for the Church?” [HINT: Yes.]
I hope Mrs. D. does things for you. I hope she senses when you’ve had a bad day and cues up your favorite show on Netflix. I hope she leaves you little love notes or kisses your nose or vacuums the house every single time because she knows that’s your least favorite chore. I hope this annoys you sometimes, because then you’ll realize that Mrs. D. is serving you like Christ serves the Church, doing things for you even though you don’t deserve it. Because that’s how she grows in virtue.
I hope when you get annoyed at Mrs. D. for being more virtuous than you are, you ask yourself, “Would the Church be annoyed with Christ for taking care of us?” [HINT: sometimes, because the Church is composed of humans, and on the whole, humans are schnucks.]
But the Church also knows it is the job of humans to conform themselves to Christ, to receive Christ’s sacrifices and sacrifice themselves for him and for his love, to become Christlike by receiving Christ. In it’s best moments, the Church accepts Christ’s sacrifices graciously (pun intended).
I hope when you are feeling less than gracious, that you allow yourself to be annoyed. And I hope that annoyance with Mrs. D. annoys the Hell right out of you.
I hope married life serves you as a crucible: taking every selfish or evil impulse you have and burning it away until your love for Mrs. D and her love for you routes the impurities in your soul and leaves it shiny and strong.
I hope that, when you draw your last breath here on Earth, that Mrs. D. has so annoyed and prayed and loved the Hell out of you that there’s no trace of Hell left, nothing left to drag you down .
I hope, in the words of the Nuptial Blessing prayed over your bowed heads at your wedding Mass, that,
“reaching at last together the fullness of years
for which [you and Mrs. D] hope,
[you both] may come to the life of the blessed
In the Kingdom of Heaven.
Through Christ our Lord.”
Love, prayers, and goodwill,