Inspirational Readings

 

DESTINY

Destiny is a mysterious thing. No matter what you do or where you go, you can’t avoid it. And, no matter how hard you try, even putting forth your greatest effort, you can’t force it to happen before its time. This occasion we witness today is the destiny of two souls. There is not a force in the universe that could have kept (bride) and (groom) apart and there is nothing they could have done to come together sooner. Each of them had to live their lives to this point, lives that were stepping stones that have led to this moment in time, this uniting of hearts and minds that shall be forever more. Destiny is an agreement of souls fulfilled in life. Yes, destiny is a marvelous and mysterious thing.

TO BE WITH EACH OTHER” by George Eliot

What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen each other in all labor, to minister to each other in all sorrow, to share with each other in all gladness, to be one with each other in the silent unspoken memories?

FRIENDSHIP” by Judy Bielicki

“It is often said that it is love that makes the world go round. However, without doubt, it is friendship which keeps our spinning existence on an even keel. True friendship provides so many of the essentials for a happy life-it is the foundation on which to build an enduring relationship, it is the mortar which bonds us together in harmony, and it is the calm, warm protection we sometimes need when the world outside seems cold and chaotic. True friendship holds a mirror to our foibles and failings, without destroying our sense of worthiness. True friendship nurtures our hopes, supports us in our disappointments, and encourages us to grow to our best potential. (Bride) and (Groom) came together as friends. Today, they pledge to each other not only their love, but also the strength, warmth and, most importantly, the fun of true friendship.”

Love Is Friendship Caught Fire”, by Laura Hendricks

“Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past. It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough.”

Blessing of the Hands

These are the hands of your best friend. They are strong and full of love for you and they are holding yours on your wedding day, as a promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours as you build your future together. These hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes: tears of sorrow and tears of joy. These are the hands that will reach out and make your families as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands, that even when they are wrinkled with age, will still be reaching for your hand – still giving you unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

THE MAGIC OF LOVE” by Helen Steiner Rice

“Love is like magic, and it always will be, For love still remains life’s sweet mystery. Love works in ways that are wondrous and strange, And there’s nothing in life that love cannot change! Love can transform the most commonplace Into beauty and splendor and sweetness and grace. Love is unselfish, understanding and kind, For it sees with its heart, and not with its mind. Love is the answer that everyone seeks; Love is the language that every heart speaks. Love can’t be bought, it is priceless and free. Love, like pure magic, is life’s sweet mystery!!”

The Key To Love

The key to love is understanding… The ability to comprehend not only the spoken word, but those unspoken gestures, the little things that say so much by themselves. The key to love is forgiveness… to accept each others faults and pardon mistakes, without forgetting, but with remembering what you learn from them. The key to love is sharing… Facing your good fortunes as well as the bad, together; both conquering problems, forever searching for ways to intensify your happiness. The key to love is giving… without thought of return, but with the hope of just a simple smile, and by giving in but never giving up. The key to love is respect… realizing that you are two separate people, with different ideas; that you don’t belong to each other, that you belong with each other, and share a mutual bond. The key to love is inside us all… It takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients that will take you to its threshold; it is the continual learning process that demands a lot of work… but the rewards are more than worth the effort… and that is the key to love.

On Friendship by Roy Croft (also called ‘Love’; also called ‘To my Friend’)

I love you, not for what you are, but what I am, when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out. I love you for putting your hand into my heaped up heart and passing over all the frivolous and weak things that you cannot help seeing there, and for drawing out into the light all the beautiful and radiant things that no one else has looked quite far enough to find… I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate could have done to make me happy. You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign. You have done it by being yourself. Perhaps that is what being a friend means after all.

What is Love? by Susan Polis Schutz

Love Love is the strongest feeling known an all -encompassing passion an extreme strength an overwhelming excitement Love is trying not to hurt the other person trying not to change the other person trying not to dominate the other person trying not to deceive the other person Love is understanding each other listening to each other supporting each other having fun with each other. Love is not an excuse to stop growing not an excuse to stop making yourself better not an excuse to lessen one’s goals not an excuse to take the other person for granted Love is being completely honest with each other finding dreams to share working towards common goals sharing responsibilities equally Everyone in the world wants to love Love is not a feeling to be taken lightly Love is a feeling to be cherished, nurtured and cared for Love is the reason for life

Passage from This Day Forward

From this day forward, let us laugh together, and plan together, let us find our favorite places, and go together… Let us enjoy the sunshine, and the rain, being alone together, and in crowds together… From this day forward, together, Let us love!

Let Us Walk Together

Let us walk together yet not as one, but such that our shadows are separate and distinct, such that our souls are unbound and free. Let us share our time, yet do not give all your time, nor take all of mine for in order to develop to the fullest, to be free, we must have solitude and individuality. Let me wander in solitude, when I need to be alone, yet be near, when I need you. Let us share our love. Give freely of your love, but do not smother me, my soul must breathe a free air. Take my love, but do not demand it, for love given of obligation, is stale and without life. Let us share our lives. Share my life, but do not try to shape it. Let me share your life, but do not let it revolve around me. Let us share ourselves. Accept me as I am, do not attempt to change me to fit your dreams. Respect me for what I am, not for what I was or one day may be. Share yourself with me, but do not allow me to limit your freedom or bind your soul. Let us share our minds, thoughts, goals, values and dreams. Let us develop these within ourselves without restriction or loss of freedom Thus our two free souls, may wander together as they develop in freedom. As we share our lives, as we walk through life together, know my love is yours, but not my soul for it must be free.

Passage from ‘Letters to a Young Poet Rainer Maria Rilke

For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation. Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person – it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world, to become world in himself for the sake of another person; it is a great, demanding claim on him, something that chose him and calls him to vast distances.

Passage from To Know Yourself, by Swami Satchidananda:

A wedding is between two reflections of God. Two pairs of eyes see one vision. They are dedicated to serve one another and the humanity at large. Two minds come together to help each other realize their true nature. Going side by side with the right partner is a good way to reach God quickly. When the husband’s and the wife’s love for each other blends together and becomes love of God, marriage is a divine institution.

Passage from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.

And what of Marriage, master? And he answered saying: You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and Dance together and be joyous, but each one of you be alone. Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow

Anne Morrow Lindburgh:

“When you love someone you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. The only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity, in freedom, in the sense that dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern. The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. One must accept the security of the winged life, of ebb and flow, of intermittency.”

Blessings For A Marriage by James Dillet Freeman

May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding. May you always need one another – not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete; the valley does not make the mountain less, but more; and the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it. So let it be with you and you. May you need one another, but not out of weakness. May you want one another, but not out of lack. May you entice one another, but not compel one another. May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another. May you succeed in all important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces. May you look for things to praise, often say, “I love you!” and take no notice of small faults. If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take the first step back. May you enter into the mystery, which is the awareness of one another’s presence – no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side-by-side, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities. May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy. May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.

Excerpt from The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach

A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soul mate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.

Marriage Joins Two People In The Circle Of Its Love by Edmund O’Neill

Marriage is a commitment to life, the best that two people can find and bring out in each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other relationship can equal. It is a physical and an emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime. Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life’s most important relationships. A wife and a husband are each other’s best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic. And there may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing, and the love of the other may resemble the tender caring of a parent for a child. Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher, commitment is stronger, even anger is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly. Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, and new ways of expressing a love that is deeper than life. When two people pledge their love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique unto themselves, which binds them, closer than any spoken or written words. Marriage is a promise, a potential made in the hearts of two people who love each other and takes a lifetime to fulfill.

On Love By Thomas Kempis

Love is a mighty power, a great and complete good. Love alone lightens every burden, and makes rough places smooth. It bears every hardship as though it were nothing, and renders all bitterness sweet and acceptable. Nothing is sweeter than love, Nothing stronger, Nothing higher, Nothing wider, Nothing more pleasant, Nothing fuller or better in heaven or earth; for love is born of God. Love flies, runs and leaps for joy. It is free and unrestrained. Love knows no limits, but ardently transcends all bounds. Love feels no burden, takes no account of toil, attempts things beyond its strength. Love sees nothing as impossible, for it feels able to achieve all things. It is strange and effective, while those who lack love faint and fail. Love is not fickle and sentimental, nor is it intent on vanities. Like a living flame and a burning torch, it surges upward and surely surmounts every obstacle.

What Is Love

Sooner or later we begin to understand that love is more than verses on valentines and romance in the movies. We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, the most important thing in our lives. For love is the creator of our favorite memories and the foundation of our fondest dreams. Love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent, a seed that can flourish in even the most unlikely of places. And this radiance that never fades, this mysterious and magical joy, is the greatest treasure of all – one known only by those who love.

True Love. Author Unknown

True love is a sacred flame That burns eternally, And none can dim its special glow Or change its destiny. True love speaks in tender tones And hears with gentle ear, True love gives with open heart And true love conquers fear. True love makes no harsh demands It neither rules nor binds, And true love holds with gentle hands The hearts that it entwines.

Art of Marriage

The little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through all the years. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel. It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is finding room for the things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

These I Can Promise

I cannot promise you a life of sunshine; I cannot promise riches, wealth, or gold; I cannot promise you an easy pathway That leads away from change or growing old. But I can promise all my heart’s devotion; A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow; A love that’s ever true and ever growing; A hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.

This Day I Married My Best Friend

This day I married my best friend …the one I laugh with as we share life’s wonderous zest, as we find new enjoyments and experience all that’s best. …the one I live for because the world seems brighter as our happy times are better and our burdens feel much lighter. …the one I love with every fiber of my soul. We used to feel vaguely incomplete, now together we are whole.

Why Marriage?

Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person, With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body… Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me, Who won’t hold them against me, Who loves me when I’m unlikable, Who sees the small child in me, and Who looks for the divine potential of me… Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night With someone who thanks God for me, With someone I feel blessed to hold… Because marriage means opportunity To grow in love in friendship… Because marriage is a discipline To be added to a list of achievements… Because marriages do not fail, people fail When they enter into marriage Expecting another to make them whole… Because, knowing this, I promise myself to take full responsibility For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness I create me, I take half of the responsibility for my marriage Together we create our marriage… Because of this understanding The possibilities are limitless.

Apache Marriage Blessing

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be the shelter for each other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be the warmth for the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before. Go now to your dwelling place to enter into the days of your life together. And may your days be good and long upon the earth. Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficulty and fear assail your relationship – as they threaten all relationships at one time or another – remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives – remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.

Eskimo Love Song

You are my husband (wife) My feet shall run because of you My feet shall dance because of you My heart shall beat because of you My eyes see because of you My mind thinks because of you And I shall love because of you.

Celtic Wedding Blessing

May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace. May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase. Be no worse than the happiest day of your past. May your hands be forever clasped in friendship And your hearts joined forever in love. Your lives are very special, God has touched you in many ways. May his blessings rest upon you And fill all your coming days.

Adaptation from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. , So, shall you have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from your branches, may you find that you are one tree and not two.

Photo by nigelhowe

Photo by welshjj (traveling too darned much)