Weekly Tri-Cor BlogSpot
Trinity-Cor Ministries
To know in Christ the Spirit of the Father's Love...
Contact Us

Weekly Tri-Cor BlogSpot

THE REEL BIBLE - Biblical Themes in Contemporary Film

by Douglas Michaud on 09/20/17

                                                                                                 September 20, ‘17

 To All My Colleagues, Friends, and Students,

            For those of you who want to view the film course, Sessions 4 and 5 are now ready. Just click on the following links and enjoy! The link for Episode 4: https://archive.org/details/TheReelBible-Episode4; and the link for Episode 5: https://archive.org/details/TheReelBible-Episode5.

            And for those of you who are getting a late start, here are the links for the first 3 Episodes:                                                                                      https://archive.org/details/TheReelBible-Episode1                             https://archive.org/details/TheReelBible-Episode2                             https://archive.org/details/TheReelBible-Episode3

            I would love to hear from you too about your own insights into the film scenes used, as well as comments on the course so far.

Sincerely in Christ,
                   Doug

 

"The Reel Bible" - Session 3

by Douglas Michaud on 06/29/17

                                                                                                            June 29, ‘17

 To All My Friends and Students,

               For those of you who want to view the film course, Session 3 is now ready. Just click on the following link and enjoy! The link for Episode 3:

https://archive.org/details/TheReelBible-Episode3

               And for those of you who are getting a late start, here's the link for Episode 2: https://archive.org/details/TheReelBible-Episode2 and the link for Episode 1: https://archive.org/details/TheReelBible-Episode1

               Would love to hear from you too about your own insights into the film scenes used, as well as comments on the course so far.

Sincerely,
                   Doug Michaud +
              

 

 

 

MARRIAGE IN JESUS CHRIST

by Douglas Michaud on 06/05/17

Dear Friends,

              There have been requests for the abridged version of the marriage reflection, which version was the one actually used by me recently at a most beautiful wedding celebration. The following is that shortened version, and feel free to use it and quote it in your parish marriage preparation classes.

Sincerely,
              Doug Michaud +

Marriage in Jesus Christ

 

           

           

            In John 12:32 Jesus says, “…and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all humanity to myself.” In many ways this incredible verse becomes the basis for St. John’s very unique vision of the Gospel.

           

            What is that vision? It is that in Jesus on the Cross, God Father, Son, and Holy Spirit reveal the fullness of God’s Love for humanity – that Love as something consummately beautiful; that Love as all-powerful, even a decisive force in the face of Evil. And for John the Joy of the Gospel, the Joy of the Good News, is that in Holy Communion with the Lord we are drawn into the Jesus’ Life, Love, Power, and Freedom.

 

            In Holy Communion with Jesus we are now called by the Father to be like His Son, to be the Face of His Love in this world and for each other; to be for each other the Face of a Love like only God can Love.

 

            In Holy Matrimony especially the call is there for husband and wife to mirror to the world God’s Love for His Bride, His Church, His people. But above all the call is there for husband and wife to mirror God’s Love to each other.

            To our wedding couple I say this is your call today, and realize always what a sublime Grace and Gift this call, this vocation, truly is which you embrace in this moment.   

            Realize, first of all, that it is a Grace and Gift, a Grace and Gift that only becomes possible for humanity by being in Holy Communion with the Spirit of the Risen Christ. After the Resurrection Jesus told His Apostles, “And behold, I send the promise of the Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with Power from on high.” (Luke 24:49) Carrying forward the thought of our Lord, in fact, don’t even think of committing to such Love, His Love, Divine Love, apart from such Power. 

 

            What is that like – God’s Love, Divine Love, a Love like only God can love? Dominic Cavallaro, a dear friend and former teacher, would always point me toward the Cross to understand that Love - and for our Bride and Groom before us today that is exactly what I am doing now: pointing you always toward the Cross to see the perfection of Love, to see the fullness of God. Especially Dom would especially point me toward the Cross when I complained to him about how much someone was hurting me.

 

            Pointing to the Cross Dom would say, “Love that person, forgive that person even as Jesus forgave all humanity from the Cross. And my friend would always add the following imperative to his most wise counsel, “Doug, forgive people, and always ask yourself how much they have been hurt to become so mean.”

 

           

 

( 2 )

 

 

            Dom’s message was very much like the incredible message of Corrie Ten Boom, author of the book, “The Hiding Place”, and a concentration camp survivor after World War II.  Her message, if not her actual words: Because of the death of Jesus on the Cross all the sins of humanity since the dawn of human history have become as a drop of water to be lost in the ocean of God’s Mercy.

 

            To be for each other the Face of divine Love is most importantly then to be the Face of Divine Mercy, to be a Love for each other that is unconditional, a Love that always shows mercy, that always takes us back after we fail and fall, a Love that forgives, and forgives not “seven times, but seventy times seven”. (Matthew 18:21-22)

 

            To do this, holy communion with the Spirit of the Risen Christ makes all the difference. How true this is in holy matrimony.

 

            For your spouse to feel that their sins are lost forever in the ocean of God’s mercy and forgiveness. Or for them to feel your forgiveness not seven times, but seventy times seven. Love does that! Unconditional Love pays the price to give amazing Grace! And the call of Divine Love is to do precisely that. John 12:32! Jesus lifted up on the Cross calls all humanity into holy communion with Himself. Why? To be drawn into His Life and Love, into a Love like His own, into the beauty and power of a Love Like only God can Love.

 

            Yes, again I say to our wedding couple today, look to the Cross to understand Love. Look to Jesus lifted up!           

 

            Always look to the Cross. Always respect the Cross – but in the literal sense of the Latin root for the word “respect”: “respicere”, to look again, to look deeper. Never stop contemplating the depth of the Love revealed there, the manifestation of God made visible there. And let the scriptures guide you into that deeper contemplation. Hebrews 12:2: “…Jesus, for the Joy that was set before Him, endured the Cross…” Or Philippians 2:5-8: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a Cross.

 

            What is this Joy for which Jesus endured even the Cross? What is this “emptying Himself” of all that was equality with God?

 

            As for the Joy set before Him, worth even the price of Calvary? It was you, each of you. It was me. We are all of us His happy thought, His ecstatic thought. We are all of us, each of us, the Spouse of the Lamb. He died with your name, my name, upon His lips.

 

 

 

( 3 )

 

 

            At the thought of you there was Love in Him so strong that it was “a flash of divine fire”, “a flame of Yahweh Himself”. The Power of that Love could endure all. “Deep waters” could not quench the Love that burned within Him at the thought of you; “raging floods” could not sweep it away. (Song of Songs 8:6-7)  Tribulation, distress, persecution, peril, nakedness or sword - nothing could tear us from His Love. (Romans 8:3) With our names upon His lips He embraced even the Cross all in the hope that He could us take with Him back home forever to the Heart of the Father. (John 14:1-3) Such was the Love that Jesus had for His bride. His message to us, to you our wedding couple: Go and do likewise for your Beloved as well. (John 13:15)

 

            As for “emptying Himself” of all that was equality with God, let Tolkien in “Lord of the Rings” enlighten us. In a very real way his portrayal of the love of Arwen for Aragorn, parallels the Love of Jesus for us, His Bride, the Church. Arwen’s Love is also a Love like only God can Love, and it epitomizes the “emptying” of which St. Paul speaks, that “self-emptying” of Christ out of love for us.

 

            Arwen, to be with Aragorn her beloved, to be always by his side, surrenders the immortality of her people, the Elves. In her own words to Aragorn, in a most beautiful scene in Rivendell, she says, “I would rather share one life-time with you than face all the ages of this world alone.” She sacrifices her own immortality to be with the one she loves. For him she empties from her life her power to live forever.

 

            In a substantial way, Jesus does something very similar, and that parallel is not at all lost to the view of Tolkien. To Jesus such is our dignity, our value, our inestimable worth, that the torment of the Cross was nothing compared to the torment of an eternity, and even of a Paradise, without His Bride, the Church; nothing compared to the torment of losing the Dream, the Dream of His Spouse, humanity, being with Him forever.

 

            Love like only God can Love… How holy matrimony sublimely and uniquely makes the radiant Light of that Love visible for all to see.      

 

            Now I ask this question of our wedding couple: “Is Love like that for each other burning in your hearts today?” Yes! And never be surprised when you see it! Never be surprised when you see in each other a Love that is the Face of Jesus reaching out to you, Love far beyond all that you could have asked or imagined possible, Love far beyond anything you could have ever dared to dream real (1 Cor. 2:9-10) – Love like in the Browning poem “How Do I Love Thee”: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach when feeling out of sight for the ends of being and divine life.”

 

            I think of my own Bride, Patricia, who is ever by my side. Have I ever even understood the depth of her Love, or the price she has paid to be ever present to me, ever by my side? No. But at times I do glimpse something of the depth of that Love, and in that Love I have always seen the Face of Jesus. Most of the time, I glimpse that Christ-like Love when we leave her family’s home after a visit in Michigan.

( 4 )

 

 

            For all the years we have been together, never once have I failed to see her tears as we leave, as she leaves her loved ones and the home of her youth. And it shakes me to the core of my being to know that she has done that for me, to know the price she has paid to be with me rather than without me, to be together for life. Over the years in those tears I have always seen in my beautiful Bride a most Sacred Heart that has embraced for me the Cross of Divine Love.

 

            And to our wedding couple I will also offer the following advice, a most important counsel: never doubt that such awesome Love is sacramental. The Power of such Love reaching out to touch you through your spouse imparts Grace, the Life and the healing Presence of God. Your Love for each other in Christ can raise your spouse to the heights of a life lived to the full (John 10:10), set them free from all fear, empower them to pursue and achieve dreams of excellence, dreams of courage, dreams that great Love inspires in the hearts of all of us.

 

            So also any spouse in Christ for the one they love. And so also, my wife for me. In the dark hours of my life, when everything seems to be coming to pieces, when life hits so hard that I am at the edge of brokenness and breakdown, the Love of my Bride has healed me, raised me to Life and set me free from all doubt and fear. Her Love in Christ is “my Light and Salvation”. Whom or what should I fear? Her Love in Christ is “the stronghold of my life”. Of whom or what should I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

 

            If I speak to an audience of thousands of people and my Bride is there, smiling by my side – and she always is – I know no fear but only freedom in the embrace of her Love. And to our wedding couple today I say unequivocally that your Love in Christ will make the same be true for you. Your Love for each other, your presence with each other, will impart Grace to your Beloved, will be the source of nothing less than sacramental Power.

 

            My Bride is always there for me, here with me. The very expressions are evocative of the Divine Name, “I am Who am with you”. Oh yes, that is the full meaning of “Yahweh”, the name of God in the Old Testament – and even more than that: “I am Who am with you with Grace and Truth”, with unconditional Love and Mercy, with a Love that will be true to you “no matter what”. (Echoes of Rocky and Adrian movies here, but why not?!)

 

            At the birth of Jesus, God made those words come alive, become flesh in His Son. ‘And his name shall be called “Emmanuel” (which means, God with us)’. (Matthew 1:23) But it was on the Cross where God in Jesus paid the price to have us, the Church, His Bride, be with him through all the ages of eternity.

 

            And to our wedding couple I will say that ultimately to become for each other the mirror of the Divine Name – “God with us” - is the true height and scope of the call you commit to and embrace this day. And as much as a burning candle makes all the difference in a dark room, so also will be your Love in the Lord for each other, and the presence of Christ touching each of you through your spouse.

 

( 5 )

 

 

            When I was drifting off into a deep sleep for my cancer surgery, my Bride was holding my hand and it made all the difference. She was there, and in her Love the Lord was there as well. Yes, in the dark hours of my life she has always been there. And not always with words, but always with her beautiful eyes, she has “I am here, by your side. I am Who am present, Who will go with you, Who will always stand by you.” And with her presence, her embrace, she has always touched me with a Love that is not only her own but His.

 

            She has always stood by me, even in the shadow of whatever cross or crisis has come my way. And it has made all the difference. She has been the wind beneath my wings, my bridge over troubled waters. Her Love in Christ has always been the healing Power of God’s Love and Presence ever with me.

 

            How I pray for our wedding couple today that the same Joy will always be yours, that your presence for each other will also be for each other the presence of Christ, the Presence of God with you, the Divine Name reaching out to you through your spouse, the Lord saying to you through them “I am Who am here, ever present to you”.

 

            In the film “Far From the Madding Crowd”, Gabriel tells his Beloved Bathsheba why he wants to marry her. He states his case simply, “So that when you look up there I’ll be, and when I look up there you’ll be.” That’s it! The Grace and Gift of looking up and seeing your Beloved always with you. That is the Joy of my marriage. That is the Joy for which Jesus embraced the Cross. It is the Joy for you today for which I pray. Not only with words, but always with eyes that are a window to your heart, say to each other each day, “I’m here, by your side.” And then all of your life reach out and touch each other with a Love that is not only your own but His. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE REEL BIBLE!

by Douglas Michaud on 05/29/17

Good News! The Biblical Themes course has begun as of April 23rd of this year.You're more than welcome to view the 1st Session, "Openness and the Call of God's Love" at: https://archive.org/details/TheReelBible-Episode1
 
                  Enjoy!
                  God Bless,
                                          Doug +

MARRIAGE IN JESUS CHRIST

by Douglas Michaud on 05/24/17

- Addressed to a most awesome wedding couple

 

           

           

            In John 12:32 Jesus says, “…and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all humanity to myself.” In many ways this incredible verse becomes the basis for St. John’s very unique vision of the Gospel.

           

            What is that vision? It is that in Jesus on the Cross, God Father, Son, and Holy Spirit reveal the fullness of God’s Love for humanity – that Love as something consummately beautiful; that Love as all-powerful, even a decisive force in the face of Evil. And for John the Joy of the Good News is that in Eucharist, in Holy Communion, we are drawn into the Jesus’ Life, Love, Power, and Freedom; into the Power of His Love, into the Freedom of His Love.

 

            In Holy Communion with Jesus we are now called by the Father to be like His Son, to be the Face of His Love in this world and for each other; to be for each other the Face of a Love like only God can Love.

 

            In Holy Matrimony especially the call is there for husband and wife to mirror to the world God’s Love for His Bride, His Church, His people. But above all the call is there for husband and wife to mirror God’s Love to each other.

 

            To our wedding couple I say this is your call today, and realize always what a sublime Grace and Gift this call, this vocation, truly is which you embrace in this moment.   

 

            Realize, first of all, that it is a Grace and Gift, a Grace and Gift that only becomes possible for humanity by being in Holy Communion with the Spirit of the Risen Christ. After the Resurrection Jesus told His Apostles, “And behold, I send the promise of the Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with Power from on high.” (Luke 24:49) Carrying forward the thought of our Lord, in fact, don’t even think of committing to such Love, His Love, Divine Love, apart from such Power.  

 

            What is that like – God’s Love, Divine Love, a Love like only God can love? A most dear friend of mine named Dominic would always point me toward the Cross to understand that Love, and that is what I am doing today: pointing you always toward the Cross to see the fullness and perfection of Love, to see God. Dom, my dear friend, one of my former high school teachers, would especially point me toward the Cross when I complained to him about how much someone was hurting me.

 

            Pointing to the Cross Dom would say, “Love that person, forgive that person even as Jesus forgave all humanity from the Cross. And my friend would always add the following imperative to his most wise counsel, “Doug, forgive people, and always ask yourself how much they have been hurt to become so mean.”

 

           

 

( 2 )

 

 

            To understand Divine Love is most of all to understand that it is mercy and forgiveness. Corrie Ten Boom, author of a book called “The Hiding Place”, and a concentration camp survivor, also preached this message of Divine Mercy. She also said something that very much resonates with Dominic’s message, and she said it as Dom did, while pointing to the Cross. Her message, if not her actual words: Because of the death of Jesus on the Cross all the sins of humanity since the dawn of human history have become as a drop of water to be lost in the ocean of God’s Mercy.

 

            To be for each other the Face of divine Love is most importantly to be the Face of Divine Mercy, to be a Love for each other that is unconditional, a Love that always shows mercy, that always takes us back after we fail and fall, a Love that forgives, and forgives not “seven times, but seventy times seven”. (Matthew 18:21-22)

 

            Corrie herself had to practice what she preached precisely during her postwar ministry, a ministry exhorting and teaching holocaust survivors of the absolute need to forgive - even our enemies. She taught that the victims of hate and tyranny had only one chance to live again, and that was by opening their hearts to love, Divine Love, Divine Mercy, and all the while rooting out from their hearts all anger, bitterness and desire for revenge.

 

            One time, one of the persons in her audience was a former camp guard who ruthlessly persecuted Corrie and her sister. After her talk on forgiveness, the guard approached Corrie. He told her of his conversion to Christianity and he asked Corrie for her forgiveness. Corrie gave it to him, but not without a powerful anointing of God’s Spirit being poured out upon her person even as she did so.

 

            Again, holy communion with the Spirit of the Risen Christ made all the difference. How true this is in holy matrimony. When I fly home to New England after this awesome wedding, I will know Joy all along the journey home because my Bride will be there when I arrive. When I arrive I’ll say, “I’m home!”, and she will say, “I’m here!” After forty-five years of marriage next month, she has always been “here!”, facing life with me, by my side, or if you will, “side by side” like Evan and Joan  Baxter in the beautiful film “Evan Almighty”.

 

            And why is she still “here by my side”? Why has she never left me? The most important reason why is that on her wedding day she became for me, for life, the face of God’s Love, the Face of His mercy and forgiveness – and forgiveness not seven times, but seventy times seven.

 

            She is there, always by my side, and I know only too well the price she has paid to be always with me. She has stood by me in the dark hours, in the shadow of my crises, challenges, and crosses to bear, and endured all to do so, suffered all to do so. (1 Cor. 13:7)

 

           

 

( 3 )

 

 

            Love does that! Love pays the price, and the call of Divine Love is to do precisely that. John 12:32! Jesus lifted up on the Cross calls all humanity into holy communion with Himself. Why? To be drawn into His Life and Love, into a Love like His own, into the beauty and power of a Love Like only God can Love.

 

            Yes, I say to our wedding couple, look again to the Cross, to Jesus lifted up! There we see the beauty and power of God’s Love. There we come to understand what it is to be His Love for others, for our friends, our families, and especially for our spouse.

 

            Also, always respect the Cross – but in the literal sense of the Latin root for the word “respect”: “respicere”, to look again, to look deeper. Never stop contemplating the depth of the Love revealed there, the manifestation of God made visible there. And let the scriptures guide you into that deeper contemplation. Hebrews 12:2: “…Jesus, for the Joy that was set before Him, endured the Cross…” Or Philippians 2:5-8: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a Cross.

 

            What is this Joy for which Jesus endured even the Cross? What is this “emptying Himself” of all that was equality with God?

 

            As for the Joy set before Him, worth even the price of Calvary? It was you, each of you. It was me. We are all of us His happy thought, His ecstatic thought. We are all of us, each of us, the Spouse of the Lamb. He died with your name, my name, upon His lips. And at the thought of you there was Love in Him so strong that it was “a flash of divine fire”, “a flame of Yahweh Himself”. The Power of that Love could endure all. “Deep waters” could not quench the Love that burned within Him at the thought of you; “raging floods” could not sweep it away. (Song of Songs 8:6-7)  Tribulation, distress, persecution, peril, nakedness or sword - nothing could tear us from His Love. (Romans 8:3) With our names upon His lips He embraced even the Cross all in the hope that He could us take with Him back home forever to the Heart of the Father. (John 14:1-3) Such was the Love that Jesus had for His bride. His message to us: Go and do likewise for your Beloved as well. (John 13:15)

 

            As for “emptying Himself” of all that was equality with God, let Tolkien in “Lord of the Kings” enlighten us. In a very real way his portrayal of the love of Arwen for Aragorn, parallels the Love of Jesus, for us, His Bride, the Church. That Love is also a Love like only God can Love, and it epitomizes the “emptying” of which St. Paul speaks, that “self-emptying” of Christ out of love for us which the Greeks call “kenosis”.

 

           

 

 

( 4 )

 

 

            Arwen, to be with Aragorn her beloved, to be always by his side, surrenders the immortality of her people, the Elves. In her own words to Aragorn, in a most beautiful scene in Rivendell, she says, “I would rather spend one life-time with you than endure the ages of this world alone.” She sacrifices her own immortality to be with the one she loves. For him she empties from her life her power to live forever.

 

            In a parallel way, Jesus does something very similar, and that parallel is not at all lost to the view of Tolkien. To Jesus such is our dignity, our value, our inestimable worth, that the torment of the Cross was nothing compared to the torment of an eternity, and even of a Paradise, without His Bride, the Church; nothing compared to the torment of losing the Dream, the Dream of His Spouse, humanity, being with Him forever.

 

            Love like only God can Love… How holy matrimony sublimely and uniquely makes the radiant Light of that Love visible for all to see. Marriage in Christ gives Divine Love flesh and form, so much so that the Kingdom of God is among us, the Reign of His Love present and powerfully alive in the midst of us so much so that the hearts of two human beings beat as one.

 

            To our wedding couple I ask "Will you ever have to pay the price of torment, of suffering, to stand side by side?" I pray not. Perhaps you or your spouse may never be called to make the ultimate sacrifice for the love you love. Perhaps you may never even be called to suffer for them, a spouse you love even as your own flesh and blood. But do not doubt in your holy communion with Jesus, the depth, the height, and the Power of the Love for each other that burns now within you. Never judge or measure the potential of the Love in the heart of your spouse for you. Never measure or place limits on the soul of your spouse made in God’s image and filled with His Spirit. And never be surprised when we see in them a Love that is the Face of Jesus reaching out to you, Love far beyond all that you could have asked or imagined possible, Love far beyond anything you could have ever dared to dream real. (1 Cor. 2:9-10)

 

            In the film, “Life is Beautiful”, a husband is shaken to the core of his being when he sees his wife embrace for him a Love precisely like that, a Love like only God can love. In the film “Dora” is the Christian wife of a Jewish husband. There is a scene where she demands of a German Officer that she be allowed to board the train transporting her husband and her son to the prisoner camps. The husband and the son see her boarding the train through the barred openings in their freight car.

 

            Mommy’s here!” the little boy shouts. Sublimely moved the husband whispers the same to himself. Dora, his wife is here, with him, with her son. While the train leaves the station, echoes of music from the song “Con Te Partiro” fill the air. The words mean so much more than “Good-bye”. They mean as well “I will go with you”. And the name “Dora” can mean “Grace” and “Gift”. Such is the Love she extends to her husband and her son, the Gift and Grace of a Love like only God can love, a Love that will for her Beloved empty itself of the riches and pleasures of a most comfortable life, a Love that will like Jesus pay any price, descend even into darkness, embrace even the Cross to be ever with the ones she loves.

( 5 )

 

 

            Next month I will be married forty-five years. Patti, my Bride was born on Christmas and truly my wedding day was the birth and beginning of a most powerful and enduring presence of Christ’s Love in my life – all through my Bride who is ever by my side. I have never deserved the Gift and Grace she is to me. Have I ever even understood the price she has paid to be ever present to me, ever by my side? No. But at times I do glimpse something of the depth of that Love, and in that Love I have always seen the Face of Jesus. Most of the time, I glimpse that Christ-like Love when we leave her family’s home after a visit in Michigan.

 

            For all the years we have been together, never once have I failed to see her tears as we leave, as she leaves her loved ones and the home of her youth. And it shakes me to the core of my being to know that she has done that for me, to know the price she has paid to be with me rather than without me, to be together for life. Over the years in those tears I have always seen the Face of Jesus, and a beautiful Bride who has embraced for me the Cross of Divine Love.

 

            Never doubt too that such awesome Love is sacramental. The Power of such Love reaching out to touch you through your spouse imparts Grace, the Life and Presence of God. Both of you in your holy communion with Jesus have received power to be that healing presence of Christ for each other, and really for all that the Lord leads into your lives. In your communion with Christ you have been drawn into a Divine Love, a Fire from the Heart of God, that through you can reach out and transform others – but especially your spouse. Your Love in Christ can raise them to the heights of a life lived to the full (John 10:10), set them free from all fear, empower them to pursue and achieve dreams of excellence, dreams of courage, dreams that great Love inspires in the hearts of all of us.

 

            In the movie “Beautiful Mind”, the unconditional Love of a man’s wife empowers him to cope with dark episodes of mental illness. Her Love imparts Grace, and in her embrace he is able to walk the bridge to healing. In the holy communion of their Love he feels the anointing of wholeness, healing, and if you will, holiness. His wife saves him from the pit, from despair, from insanity. As Rose says of Jack in the film “Titanic”, she saves her husband in every sense that a human being needs salvation.

 

            So also any spouse in Christ for the one they love. And so also, my wife for me. In the dark hours of my life, when everything seems to be coming to pieces, when life hits so hard that I am at the edge of brokenness and breakdown, the Love of my Bride has healed me, raised me to Life and set me free from all doubt and fear. Her Love in Christ is “my Light and Salvation”. Whom or what should I fear? Her Love in Christ is “the stronghold of my life”. Of whom or what should I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

 

            If I speak to an audience of thousands of people and my Bride is there, smiling by my side – and she always is – I know no fear but only freedom in the embrace of her Love. To our wedding couple I say that your Love in Christ will make the same be true for you. Your Love for each other, your presence with each other, will impart Grace to your Beloved, will be the source of nothing  less than sacramental Power.

( 6 )

 

 

            My Bride is always there for me, here with me. The very expressions are evocative of the Divine Name, “I am Who am with you”. Oh yes, that is the full meaning of “Yahweh”, the name of God in the Old Testament – and even more than that: “I am Who am with you with Grace and Truth”, with unconditional Love and Mercy, with a Love that will be true to you “no matter what”. (Echoes of Rocky and Adrian movies here, but why not?!)

 

            At the birth of Jesus, God made those words come alive, become flesh in His Son. ‘And his name shall be called “Emmanuel” (which means, God with us)’. (Matthew 1:23) But it was on the Cross where God in Jesus paid the price to have us, the Church, His Bride, be with him through all the ages of eternity.

 

            Ultimately to become for each other the mirror of the Divine Name – “God with us” - is the true height and scope of the call you commit to and embrace this day. And as much as a burning candle makes all the difference in a dark room, so also will be your Love in the Lord for each other, and the presence of Christ touching each of you through your spouse.

 

            When I was drifting off into a deep sleep for my cancer surgery, my Bride was holding my hand and it made all the difference. She was there, and in her Love the Lord was there as well. Yes, in the dark hours of my life she has always been there. And not always with words, but always with her beautiful eyes, she has “I am here, by your side. I am Who am present, Who will go with you, Who will always stand by you.” And with her presence, her embrace, she has always touched me with a Love that is not only her own but His.

 

            She has always stood by me, even in the shadow of whatever cross or crisis has come my way. And it has made all the difference. She has been the wind beneath my wings, my bridge over troubled waters. Her Love in Christ has always been the healing Power of God’s Love and Presence ever with me.

 

            How I pray that the same Joy will always be yours, that your presence for each other will also be for each other the presence of Christ, the Presence of God with you, the Divine Name reaching out to you through your spouse, the Lord saying to you through them “I am Who am  here, ever present to you”.

 

            In the film “Far From the Madding Crowd”, Gabriel tells his Beloved Bathsheba why he wants to marry her. He states his case simply, “So that when you look up there I’ll be, and when I look up there you’ll be.” That’s it! The Grace and Gift of looking up and seeing your Beloved  always with you. That is the Joy of my marriage. That is the Joy for which Jesus embraced the Cross. It is the Joy for you today for which I pray. Not only with words, but always with eyes that are a window to your heart, say to each other each day, “I’m here, by your side.” And then all of your life reach out and touch each other with a Love that is not only your own but His.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trinity-Cor Membership
Book Purchase
Film Course Information
Biblical Themes Information
Workshop Seminars
Teaching Assistance
Day Retreats
Full Weekend Retreats