I am fascinated by the time, effort and creativity involved in making quilts, extending to the fabrics, patterns and especially the story. To enjoy the beauty of the quilt you need to get a sense of its overall style, before focussing on the detail of each panel. At my son’s school the class made their teacher a quilt, each panel reflecting their individual story: a powerful affirmation, and a window into their lives.
This fits well with the shared ongoing project of the rich tapestry of marriage. As Christians we are conscious that, whether each panel is good, bad or indifferent, it is held together by the thread that is Christ. At the beginning of married life, we bring our own stories, grafting these into the quilt that reflects our shared journey. It is easy to spot the momentous occasions: the wedding, the arrival of children and events that bring a smile. However, life is not always lived in glorious technicolour and there can be times that are difficult or painful.
How will the panel of our marriage quilt look for 2020? It certainly won’t be empty, lived in a landscape with blurred boundaries. How has our journey been changed? Do we notice little green shoots of hope? Every marriage is unique, but couples face real and common pressures. This may require crafting the scene more carefully, which may be difficult as couples face uncertainties about the future.
Making a quilt requires an overall vision, a readiness to adapt and guidance from others to manage the project. As we move towards living with the pandemic, how can we help you to continue crafting your beautiful marriage story quilt; provide the materials to mend the patches, help you find new fabrics and colours that sustain you through prayer?
The Alliance is a special quilt with different charisms and insights, helping couples discover and rediscover the innate beauty of their ‘project’: those who initially help prepare the materials, those offering essential repair kits, those who refresh and re-equip, and those who, through the gift of scripture, keep each panel held by the love of Christ.
This blog was written by Rev. Roger Carr-Jones from Marriage Care who are part of The Alliance of Catholic Marriage Organisations