If I could to sum up our first year of marriage, coupled with essential reminders as we continue going about our vocation (because our marriage is far from perfect), it would be with these profound words, taken from the very homily preached on our wedding day by our dear friend and brother, Fr. Jack. I believe that the Truth of these words are worth sharing, not just between the two of us, but also with the world.

View More: http://cynthiashipp.pass.us/fatimaandjon

“Jesus, as one of His last signs at the end of His earthly life will turn wine into His Precious Blood, and that Blood, of course, is a participation in the Blood that He would pour out from His side on the cross. Jesus poured out His whole self, His whole being. He poured out Himself to the very last drop of His existence on that cross for us. And so we learn from Jesus what true love is. We learn from Jesus that love in its very essence is sacrificial. One who loves with Christ’s love is more concerned about the needs and concerns of the other than they are about their own. A marriage penetrated with the love of Christ will be filled with endurance during unexpected trials. A marriage filled with the love of Christ will know all kinds of forgiveness, of mistakes and sins of one another, and of your children. Marriage penetrated with the love of Christ will be filled with patience and charity, and it will be filled with joy in the midst of life’s ups and downs.

You have chosen to incorporate a Croatian custom into your marriage celebration today. It involves blessing a crucifix and then you will incorporate that crucifix into your vows, and you will bring this crucifix with you into your home and give it a place of honor, and pray regularly before it. And this is because you recognize that with God’s love and grace poured out on the cross, you can make this marriage thrive in this world and be a source of light for others in the world – God’s light and love shining through you into this world. You recognize that it is, in fact, in dying to ourselves that we come to the fullness of life.

Fatima and Jon, may your beautiful faith in God – the wonderful foundation you have received from your parents – and the grace of Jesus spilled out for us on the cross fill you with strength, and wisdom, and joy as you begin your married life and build a house for God in this world.”

—Fr. Jack Peterson, YA

View More: http://cynthiashipp.pass.us/fatimaandjon

Year one in the books! Marriage, as expected, has been both very challenging, but extraordinarily rewarding; countless hardships already, but countless graces poured out constantly. And I’m certain it will remain this way each year so long as we keep the Crucified Christ as our center – the prime example of true sacrificial love as Fr. Jack shared. Please continue to pray for us.

Happy Anniversary, Jonathan! I love you more than words can ever express. I love the life we created as husband and wife and the great joy and new hope that come with being parents together…all in our first year, too! What an adventure thus far and I know it’ll keep getting better with age, just like wine. 🙂

– Fatima

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