The King and Queen of Creation
There were three thousand family members and guests at the Royal Wedding two years ago. In ancient Westminster Abbey, they heard the Bishop of London describe the meaning of marriage. Around the world, two billion people watched William and Kate take their vows.
The Anglican Bishop’s sermon is worth recalling.
“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” So said St Catherine of Siena whose festival day it is today. 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 truest selves.
Many are full of fear for the future of the prospects of our 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 the 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. And in the Spirit of this generous God, husband and wife are to give themselves to each another.
A 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.
Recently, the world stopped, looked and listened for the arrival of the Royal couple’s first child. They welcomed a son. There were overjoyed, as all of us can be, at the healthy boy’s strong lungs. And Prince William even joked: “He has more hair than I do.”
The Bishop’s good words – King and Queen of Creation – shows us what marriage is for all of us. The 101-gun salute that greeted the arrival of a future monarch punctuated the true meaning of marriage. It is for this that we are given the gift of marriage. And it is a gift given us from above, solemnized for most of us in our churches and synagogues, and, until recently, legally sanctioned by the state.
The Bishop referred to fears for the future. Those fears might be for jihadist terror, for fanatical regimes pursuing nuclear weapons, or even for environmental degradation.
Or, we have the deepest concern for the survival of marriage itself. For in marriage, great nations are preserved. In marriage, children are nurtured and protected.
Last month, Supreme Court Justice Tony Kennedy dismissed all our concerns about preserving marriage. He attacked us, and the citizens of thirty-two states, saying such ideas can only be the result of bigotry and a desire to inflict hurt on our fellow citizens.
We must deny that. We must denounce Tony Kennedy’s unhistorical, illogical, and spiteful pronouncements.
Westminster Abbey on that joyous April day two years ago was no Animus House!
And the presence of Sir Elton John and his longtime companion as invited guests confirms the truth that marriage is a blessing for all. Marriage bashes no one.
Still, the Royal Family’s crest gives us a hint of deeper meaning: Dieu et Mon Droit – God and My Right – is often translated as a justification for the Divine Right of Kings.
Whether we accept monarchy or not, and I don’t, it is nonetheless clear that the British Monarchy rests on family and family is defined by blood, marriage, and adoption.
The Queen’s most regrettable royal assent to the overturning of marriage will threaten the very foundation of her kingdom. As a constitutional monarch, Elizabeth II acts only at the bidding of Her Government. It was therefore the elected Prime Minister David Cameron who forced through this damaging bill. Having done this wrong thing, how can Cameron’s majority in Parliament say NO to those of her subjects who demand polygamy?
Our French friends are putting up a great resistance. They call this terrible error the dénaturation de mariage. In this, the French have taught us all an important lesson. Thousands of years of history, law, and experience have shown us what true marriage is. Those who militantly demand we overthrow marriage are denaturing it.