My Lady



“I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!” (Luke 12:49)

My Bride:

Twenty one years! How could that be?

That day, I imagined I could love you no more than I did. My heart was full, ready to burst!

I, Thomas, take you, Patricia, to be my wife.
I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad,
in sickness and in health.
I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

My journey was now complete. At last we had had surrendered our separate identities, bound together by God as one in the sacramental bonds of everlasting covenant faithfulness. Wonderful! Terrifying! Everything else the future could hold, it seemed to me, could only be mere commentary. My single fear that day was that these God-kindled fires could dim and cool. How could we sustain such passion?!

I had no clue!

Those fires had indeed been fully entrusted to us by God that day. But they had yet to permeate us, every bit of us, consume in us all that was unworthy to make love the defining whole of our common life. As the years progressed, I saw more clearly that Sacramental fire commands our common, daily consent amid the endless vagaries of life.

As we left the island of Aruba, where the whole world blanked out beneath the Honeymoon, suddenly we found a complex and challenging world waiting to test our unity. We found those innumerable moments of decision confronted us as the voice of God. In them He said: “Let my fire refine you and make of your common life an inferno!” Out of the totalizing commitment of our monogamous love rises a new epiphany of beauty in creation: an icon of Three-in-one love. That icon of divine love was perfectly painted in Christ, on the Cross, where love was made perfect and the real meaning of unity was revealed.

“What God therefore has joined together (synezeuxen) man must not separate (chōrizetō).” You, my Bride, are His new commandment to me: “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34; 15:13). To love you is to love Him, to love Him is to love you. To be loved by you is to be loved by Him. And I desire no greater gift than to be His love for you.

If I am to act with the grain of God, my every choice must be in reference to you; be defined by you; be for you and with you and about you. Holiness for me means fidelity to the grace of synezeuxen, so that our love defines me wholly. My life’s greatest danger is chōrizetō, what tears apart the building symphony of our life into a covenant hymn.

How I’d love to recount all of the details of our story thus far!! But “if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:25). “If I count them, they are more than the sand;
to finish, I must be eternal, like you.” (Ps. 139:18).

But we have the perfect summation of all we have done in our children!! Michael, Nicholas, Maria, Catherine, and the six whom you labored into eternal life. Our children whom we love, our joy and crown, the living sign of our one flesh union. They are THE gift that reminds me every day, amid my thousand failings, that God is faithful to us and will bring to completion the good work He has begun in us.

I am supremely grateful that I can spend my life with you, now and in the Age to Come. Thank you for saying yes to Him for me.

You’re my Lady…


11 comments on “My Lady

  1. Sherri says:

    Happy Anniversary, Tom and Patricia! May you be blessed with many, many more years of joy and love. Your writing is so much like my love-Kent! How I wish we four could meet this side of heaven. We have had a lovely marriage also but, fraught with mega trials the last 3 months; prostate cancer removal (super prognosis) , plus Minieres disease in Kent, my 92 year old father moving in with us, various difficulties with trials in our two son’s families, oh– and a new puppy, no less( couldn’t very well NOT keep one of Zoe’s pups, you know). But, through all of this, GOD IS GOOD and his mercies truly are new every morning! Bless you and your family! ❤️💐

  2. Doug Busch says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Tom and Ms Patti … may God bless this special day in your lives and fill it with His abundance of grace, peace and joy! May you continue to live in His Light and be a faithful witness to all!

  3. Jerry Christopher, Jr. says:

    First of all, happy anniversary and second, thanks for the opine…very inspiring. I felt that something was up with you guys today when I saw you both enter church for 8:15am Mass and the exceptional job Patti did with the Readings and singing the Alleluia. Aha!

    With Gratitude,

    Jerry Christopher, Jr., LUTCF Financial Services Professional Direct: 504-259-6138 Fax: 504-454-8415


    • Jerry: We are honored by your words and literally were speaking about you last night–what a powerful witness you are of being fully immersed in the world as a Christian man with a fantastic family and great musical gifts! We need more of you. Thank you. Godspeed

  4. tmm says:

    🍭Here to say Happy Anniversary
    🍭Blessings for a double portion of more marital graces that keeps the fires of love burning ever so strong, please God let it be
    🍭And wishes for a continual torrent of bliss for you all that’s oh so heavenly

    What an example of fidelity and rectitude you model. It’s an inspiration to me in my marital relationship with the Lord. The song “Love to the World” (
    came to mind after reading your post. For we do need every contribution that brings more “love to the world”, thanks Neals for doing just that.

    In life 1 must always sail forward on da spiritual high sea
    Is a job that is not easy, all will certainly agree
    Perilous is da journey cause of interferences by the enemy
    To solve that problem allow Jesus 2take da helm, that’s a vital key
    Then we’ll be able to reach heaven our glorious final destiny.
    / \ tmm/PTL

    • Thank you for sharing not only your poetic gift but also your personal journey. And your encouraging prayer! How marvelous that God uses one vocation to enhance and lift up another! God fill you with his abundant love.

  5. Pat Halsch says:

    Dr. Tom and Patti,
    Thank you for sharing such a personal witness. You are right when you wrote “I had no clue!” and “how can I sustain the love.” As we celebrate the years of our marriage, people, particularly the young, ask what we attribute our longevity. I reply, “by the grace of God.”

    We have just witnessed our first child’s marriage and a plethora of nieces/nephews (7 in 24 months). As we sit holding hands as they make their vows, you express my thoughts when you wrote, “As the years progressed, I saw more clearly that Sacramental fire.”
    By the grace of God, I have a husband who does too.

    God bless your family.

    PS Patti was a beautiful bride ~ love your photos.

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