Our Engagement Story
John proposed over Thanksgiving weekend on Saturday, November 24, 2007 in Ashley's hometown of Springfield, Illinois. After asking permission for her hand from her parents, when Mass was finished John took her to the little side-chapel at Christ the King Church, Ashley's family parish. The fact that it was the feast of Christ the King, made it even more special.
John had a little bag of “tricks” with him. He said they were “gifts,” really symbolic gifts, significant that in marriage, the husband and wife are a complete and total ‘gift’ to each other and collectively to God in the spirit of Romans 12:1, 2. According to Pope John Paul II, this includes a new and special unity of mind, will and desires.
Each of the gifts touched on one of the five human senses, reminding us that our love encompasses the full person.
First John presented Ashley with a book of virtues, representing the need to direct their minds toward spiritual growth and prudence in marriage.
Next, a pair of sunglasses and a piece of yummy dark chocolate, significant of Psalm 33 to taste and see the goodness of the Lord through the gift of one another.
He gave her perfume to represent the fragrance of Christ to the world, that 2 Cor 2:15 calls all to be.
He also handed her a tiny wrapped "box of love" with an inscription that read, "You never can unwrap it, please leave the ribbon tied. Just hold it tight and close to you, it's filled with love inside." This was meant to be something to actually hold and touch, as a physical reminder of John's love. So that as husband and wife, they might only ‘touch’ and involve ourselves in spiritually productive things as Col 2:20-21 asks all to do.
Then John gave his last gift. There in front of the tabernacle, he got on one knee. He put a ring on Ashley's left ring finger, which is to be a sign of his perpetual love. He asked, “Will you marry me?” She said “YES!”