Romance in Mexico

Romance in Mexico

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How An Evangelical Canadian Fell in Love with a Mexican Catholic, His Family and His  Faith

by Jacob Wall

It was summer in Mexico City.  I spoke about fifty words of Spanish, and she spoke no English at all. But to our astonishment, the day we’d planned for cultural discovery turned into a day of romance.

I remember this clearly:  as my guide and I walked through the countryside, we saw poor farmers in procession carrying stalks of corn to the village church.  Unbeknownst to me, they were bringing corn for the blessings of the first fruits of the harvest.

It was the Feast of the Transfiguration.

We took a moment to stop in the church and watch.  I was amazed, not only at the piety and reverence of the people, but also to see how my lovely guide also knelt and prayed with reverence to Christ and the Virgin Mary. This made me realize in a very direct way that this was no quaint, small-town display put on for tourists, but rather a real expression of living faith.

As my lovely guide and I  strolled through the countryside, we saw poor farmers in procession carrying stalks of corn to the village church.  Unbeknownst to me, they were bringing corn for the blessings of the first fruits of the harvest. It was the Feast of the Transfiguration.

What We Knew After Three Weeks

Before my three week vacation in Mexico was over, we knew three things; we loved each other, we wanted to spend our lives together and I was going to stay in Mexico.

Neither of us were strong in our faith; I was a lapsed Evangelical, who, although still believing, no longer practiced in any real sense.  My wife was a Catholic with an authentic love for Mary, the Saints and the Church, but with little understanding of the Church's teachings. 

2007 Wedding Tepoztlan, MexicoBefore my three week vacation was over, we knew three things; we loved each other, we wanted to spend our lives together and I was going to stay in Mexico.

How She Brought Me Closer to the Faith

However, she understood one important thing; prayer, persistence and patience were the best way to bring me closer to the Church.  She never pushed me, but also did not hesitate to challenge me to rediscover my faith.

Exactly one year after  the day we met, we were wedded in a beautiful colonial Catholic Church in the village of Tepoztlan. To our new home, my wife brought crucifixes, images of the saints and holy water before I understood what they were for.  We baptized our first son before I was entirely convinced that baptizing children made sense.

Just after our second son was born, after I had expressed some doubt on some point, she asked me directly; “What exactly is it that you believe?” 

I didn't know.  I decided to go talk to a priest whom I had come to respect. I began to read about Catholicism, and at Easter 2011 I joined the Church.

I shared what I learned in RCIA classes and from my readings with my wife.  Some important points were new to her.  Her challenge to me – to discover what it is I believed – became a challenge to her as we learned the teachings of the Church together. 

2009 Akumal, MexicoTo our new home, my wife brought crucifixes, images of the saints and holy water before I understood what they were for.  We baptized our first son before I was entirely convinced that baptizing children made sense.

Love, Marriage, Children and the Church

Since then, we have continued to grow in love for each other at the same time as we grow closer to the Church in knowledge and love. Over six years into our marriage, we continue to find romance. Our love for each other grows stronger with every passing day. 

Our four children are not an obstacle to romance but are really a part of the love we have for each other.  While we take moments for ourselves, some of our most delightful moments have been with the family together. For example, last fall we went on a boat tour in the Mexican Caribbean; four of the other five couples had kids, but had left them behind, far away at home.

In contrast, all six of us were there. No one was bothered by the kids.  It was certainly romantic for us as a couple, not to mention lots of fun for the kids.

We also make pilgrimages as a family, such as to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, as well as visits to our beautiful cathedral in Canada for important feast days.

2012 Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico CityWe also make a pilgrimages as a family, such as to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, as well as visits to our beautiful cathedral in Canada for important feast days.

I would say that romantic love, family and the Church are not three disconnected aspects of our lives. Rather, they are ideal complements to each other, and within the Church we find our love for our family and for each other to be the ideal place to grow.

FEATUREDI would say that romantic love, family and the Church are not three disconnected aspects of our lives. Our four children are not an obstacle to romance but are really a part of the love we have for each other.

 

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