Sunday, August 17, 2008

Engaged Encounter

We (Tyrone and Suzanne) spent this past weekend at the Marist House in Framingham where we were participants of Catholic Engaged Encounter.

It was such a relief to devote 3 days to our marriage and not mention wedding plans. We sat and spoke quietly about our upcoming life together, our values, dreams, and styles of communication.

It wasn't a touchy-feely group-sharing experience, though it was moving at times. The general structure is that a presentation is made on a topic by two married couples and a priest (ours serves on the annulment committee for the diocese and has seen what can go wrong in marriage.) The presentation takes about 10-20 minutes and it is timed. Then, men and women are separated to answer questions (in writing) for 10-15 minutes on that topic. When the timer sounds, the parties reconnect, read the others' answers and discuss (again, it's timed).

WE NEVER SHARED OUR ANSWERS WITH THE PRESENTERS OR OTHER COUPLES. Because of this, our answers were deeply personal and intimate. We grew closer to one another and more focussed on our upcoming marriage.

As wedding plans faded to their actual importance, we smiled and hugged more. We laughed and joked. It was so wonderful.

Tragedy struck late Saturday night, when one of our new friend's mother was in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. Not knowing if she would survive, our friend and her fiance departed for the hospital. We prayed for her and were earnestly reminded of the need for our love to be strong. "Life can turn on a dime," said Father Steve, "we need to be ready to greet whatever may come, together."

This was such a blessing.

Our new friends returned on Sunday morning with much relief. The mother is alive and stable and in the hospital.

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