"in virtue of the absurd"

We didn't have a camera with us in France, but a friend took a few pictures with his cell phone. Here we're standing above one of Heather's favorite places when she was growing up, a lake with a rugged, fortified island which she named "Innisfree" (from a Yeats poem). I agreed it's a magical, inspiring place.

Our visit with Heather's parents went very well. We liked each other and got to talk a lot and even argued pretty well. They liked the Catholic Worker plan for the fall. And Heather and I submitted to their objections about us walking together before we are married (though I still think we could do it now, I don't mind waiting). I will still walk this summer; Heather will take some extended retreat time. Which I think is a great idea.

But one major difficulty remained after our visit. The morning we were leaving, Heather's father felt that it was important to make his feelings clear (which we both appreciated). He said that if we did get married he would accept it and love me as a son. But then he said that he didn't think Heather should marry me. For one clear reason: He didn't think I was committed to being a provider; I wasn't willing to do whatever was necessary to fulfill that responsibility (such as getting a job to make money).

I have to say I can't blame him much. His concerns are completely understandable and very important (and most people would agree with his judgment here). I have worries along these same lines myself. But I also think this is important enough to take a stand, even if it means risking our chance of being married. In a way, I'm relieved that his resistance is on this point (rather than minor disagreements or personality clashes). I expect resistance on this--if it didn't appear, I would think I was not being clear or I was not being taken seriously.

I also understand that trying to live by giving and receiving gifts seems impossible, that living like Jesus did seems absurd for a family. I can't deny the impossiblity of it (though I do think I can show that it is closer to Jesus' own life and teaching). I can't prove to Heather that we can do it. I may very well lose her over this. And yet:

"I believe nevertheless that I shall get her, in virtue, that is, of the absurd, in virtue of the fact that with God all things are possible."