|3-year-old Grace van Cutsem is not amused.|
I confess: I hear them, and I more or less agree with them, and still I got up at 4:00 a.m. and watched the wedding, every minute of it, just as I watched Charles and Diana's wedding 30 years ago, hanging on to every word, every image.
In the evening I came back for more, and when I turned on the TV news, I knew why I can't tear myself away. What are the options? Shelling in Syria. Rising death toll from tornadoes in the American South. Libyan civil war spilling over into Tunisia. Endless political bickering. The only happy news came from London.
The romance! the dress! the hats! the horses! the trumpet fanfares! the choir! the queen all in yellow! the gorgeous young couple, so obviously in love! Do I want to turn from that and blog about union bashing or cow bashing or Obama bashing? I don't think so.
I mean, what's the reason some of us get exercised about politics and the economy and international relations, anyway? Isn't it because we have a dream of love and beauty and peace for all? Don't we want to affirm the words spoken by the Bishop of London yesterday, that "every wedding [should be] a royal wedding with the bride and the groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future"?
As "we stand looking forward to a century which is full of promise and full of peril," can't we agree with the bishop that "we shall not be converted to the promise of the future by more knowledge, but rather by an increase of loving wisdom and reverence, for life, for the earth and for one another"?
To be sure, the bishop pointed out that "personal relations alone will [not] supply meaning and happiness in life. This is to load our partner with too great a burden." And royal weddings, of course, will not eliminate poverty or dictators or conspiracy theorists. But when 2 billion people gather around the TV set to watch a wedding (or a funeral or the Summer Olympics), it is not mere escapism - it's a celebration of the things that give life meaning, the values we share that we hope, by our political involvement, to extend to as many people as possible.