Laura has been a dear friend of mine for a while now. We have long talked about our common desire to live out a radical holiness. This peaked around the time she joined an association of the faithful that promoted the fullness of Liturgy. She desired the kind of holiness that religious life could bring.
She was one of the few friends to bring continuous comfort to my soul because I saw a similar fervency in her that made me think I wasn’t alone in thinking that holiness is our only honest objective in life, no matter our vocation. And ever did she grow in holiness.
But as the title image reveals, she’s no longer discerning religious life. But the holiness persists. Her continual desire for holiness is one of the inspirations for this site. Because, like her, I’m still stuck on the idea that holiness is indeed the only honest objective in life, because holiness makes not only the self new but all things new. People like Laura make me believe that God is enthusiastically willing to pour grace into every part of life, especially marriage. And only through God’s work in people like her do I confidently move forward with the happy idea that marriage can very well lead us into a superlative spirituality that advances our holiness like none other.
As we stood for the bride’s entrance, she looked up to see her beloved. Then she looked down. And she kept looking down, but her face told me it was not out of melancholy or shame or some other unhappy thing, of course.
All my heart could confess was, “Her face speaks peace.”
And that is Laura. She was the image of peace, no different from the peace she offered me and so many others all these years.
[I asked her later at the reception what she was really thinking, and she said, “Praise God. I just praised God.”]
Other images from the day (of course my baby stars in many of them):