Many of my readers, including my frequent commenter Trebler, were with me at a wedding today (Trebler's, for those of you who don't get the inside joke).
I love weddings. Especially when they're real, and not just the next logical step in the romantic interminglings of the cast of Friends. A real wedding is a very Catholic event; we celebrate the union of two persons into one, with the potential to create the mystery of a third. It's very Trinitarian, very sacramental, very holy, and very Eucharistic.
I find most stimulating the exchanging of vows. "Words mean things," as Rush Limbaugh observed, and no more so than in the case of a Promise. For this couple, although they are very young as far as popular "wisdom" goes, knows the meaning of the vows. They made several references to raising children in the various parts of the Mass, including in a personal yet public prayer they uttered just before dismissal. They get it.
Many people today don't. We're surrounded by messages saying that marriage is the commitment you make to a person when you want to spend the rest of (one of) your lives together. In that light, there is little reason to object to "gay marriage," incestuous marriage, or inter-species marriage. A life partner, in our diverse society, can be anything from a person of the opposite sex to a bottle cap, and nobody may dare question your choice for fear of the intolerant label.
But when you consider the procreative element of human sexuality and the logic of stable, complementary monogamy for producing the most well-rounded human person, all variations on marriage suddenly fall apart like a set of gears with no axle. This is why society is so hell-bent on redefining marriage as a mere "I'm currently fond of you" contract, when in reality it is so much more.
Thank goodness for Trebler and his new wife for seeing through the fog and marrying well. I wish them all the best as they embark on this difficult journey together.