A friend of mine is getting married this summer, and she asked me to meet with her and her fiancé to help them think about any issues they should be discussing before the wedding. I have to tell you, I was a little nervous. I’ve been married before, and the fact that I’m not now might lead one to believe I’m not the best person to turn to for relationship advice. One thing I do know how to do well, though, is cook. So I invited them to dinner, hoping my culinary skills might make up for my matrimonial deficiencies.
Before they arrived, however, the Holy Spirit must have had a free moment to send me some inspiration. I remembered what I always tell catechumenate sponsors.
To be a good sponsor, you don’t have to have been a perfect Catholic. You have to be a practicing Catholic. Meaning, you’re still trying to get it right. What a catechumen needs to see is a person of faith, struggling with all the difficulties of living out the gospel. If the sponsor has always been and always will be a perfect Christian, he or she probably doesn’t have all that much to offer the catechumen. One thing we know for sure about catechumens is, they are going to struggle. If the sponsor has never known what it is to get knocked down and get back up again, how can the sponsor guide the catechumen through the trials of walking the way of faith?
So I added that thought to the recipe for the evening. Dinner was wonderful, and I discovered I do have a few hard-learned lessons about marriage to share. I pray for my friends every day that, with God’s help, they will be able to avoid my mistakes if not my struggles. Just as any good sponsor should.
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