Today is their wedding day, and I couldn’t be happier for them. With them in mind, I’ll post this passage from the Bishop of London’s address to Prince William and Katherine:
Marriage should transform, as husband and wife make one another their work of art. It is possible to transform so long as we do not harbour ambitions to reform our partner. There must be no coercion if the Spirit is to flow; each must give the other space and freedom. Chaucer, the London poet, sums it up in a pithy phrase:
Whan maistrie [mastery] comth, the God of Love anon,
Beteth his wynges, and farewell, he is gon.
As the reality of God has faded from so many lives in the West, there has been a corresponding inflation of expectations that personal relations alone will supply meaning and happiness in life. This is to load our partner with too great a burden. We are all incomplete: we all need the love which is secure, rather than oppressive. We need mutual forgiveness in order to thrive.