We stood in the long, winding, garden pathways at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America. Sounds of birds mixed with the silence. Our lungs took in long breaths of the fresh, clean air. Our eyes danced from one statue to another. One plant to another. We found ourselves to be standing in an oasis of quiet, peace, and prayer right in the middle of DC. Amy was losing herself to quiet contemplation when Kyle’s voice beckoned her out of it. “They’re here!” The path led us out of the gardens to the front of the monastery. Elena and Jonathan moved on the same path towards us. In Jonathan’s hand, a pomegranate.
Seeds pointing to its fruitfulness. Redness like the blood poured forth from Christ. A tough exterior. Sweet juice and seeds inside. A symbol of marriage, and evidence for Elena and Jonathan’s understanding of the sacrament they will enter into in January. We began discussing the hard work needed for success in marriage in Alli and Drew’s engagement post, and here the Holy Ghost has led us to the topic again.
Hard and sweet. Fruitful. Beautiful. What a tremendous gift, freely given by the Lord. So often we’ve all seen marriage misunderstood, under-appreciated, and attacked in modernity. We’ve been told it’s restricting, encouraged to wait a while longer and not to rush things, warned about its difficulties and challenges. As a married couple in love with the Lord, we could never talk about the challenges of marriage without mentioning the blessings we receive sevenfold. It’s hard to knock seeds out of a pomegranate, but every day people do because the nutrition and sweetness found inside are worth the struggle and work.
Elena and Jonathan, though there will be challenging times in your lives and marriage, you will succeed. God is at the center of your lives and relationship. He will be at the center of your marriage. The Holy Ghost will keep you on the right path, and the Eucharist will supply you with life and energy for the journey. During your session, we were filled with joy from your company. Your Christian joy and love for one another radiate from you! Everyone who sees these photos will be able to testify that you two are filled with peace, joy, and love for each other. When you begin to feel stretched and weary, and the cross you’ve picked up in your journey to heaven feels heavier than you can bear, we pray that these photos will be a reminder of the goodness God has gifted to you in each other.
We are so excited to stand with you on your wedding day! You can count on our prayers and the prayers of all AKCP couples!
Amy and Kyle