Blog I Said Yes to the Cassock by Richard Rivera There’s this girl. I’ve kinda liked her for a while and for the longest time I knew she loved me. At first, I wasn’t sure how much I could love her, not because of her imperfections but because of mine. She’s honestly great, and I just feel lucky she loves me. We all create the perfect partner in our minds, but it’s crazy finding that person and knowing they’ve been patiently waiting for you. Let me tell you, she has waited and waited and waited for me. So in honor of her, I’ve created a little list of things I love about her. She’s Great! Let me explain, because she’s great in ways that most people wouldn’t expect. The word great doesn’t just mean “good” like “great job,” it can mean “big” like “great whale.” She’s very much both! Honestly, she’s a beautiful, good, big girl. So big, others can’t help but notice her, look at her, or be in awe of her greatness. If I had to pick a planet to describe her, I’d go with “universal.” She Has High Expectations I’ve never met anyone who expects so much from me. One of the first things she asked was for me to be the best I can for her. Imagine that for a first date. “Hey, this is nice and all but this won’t work out unless you’re willing to be a better man than you are today.” Lots of guys would be put off, but somehow this made me fall in love with her. She knows who I am and always encourages me to be the best man I can be. She Expects Me to Love Her Love isn’t quite itself unless it’s in action. I’m a big talker, and she knows that. Actually, I think she loves that about me, but she’s always asking me to love with more than just my words. I’m always impressed by the ways she asks me to love her; sometimes it’s a simple thing, but often it means I have to give more of myself than I have in any relationship. She Loves Me I know you’d expect this, but she loves me in ways that no other person does. She’s always loved me, and I believe her when she says she will always love me. Heck, she even loved me when I was in other relationships. She Wants Me to be Faithful I’ve never liked the idea of cheating on someone. Honestly, I think cheating is how cowards hide from the expectations of love. She seems to feel similarly and expects me to love her with my thoughts, words, and actions, even when she’s not around me. After a long time of knowing her, a few of my closest friends pointed out how much I loved her. It grew on me slowly, and I’m thankful for the men who encouraged me to take the next step. Love isn’t just something we announce, it’s something we do. I’m engaged to the best girl around, the Church, and I’m off to seminary this fall. Normally a man has one woman as his bride but a priest, my bride is the Church and instead of the woman looking at a white gown to walk down the isle in, I did. I just bought my cassock. It’s not exactly a dress (thank you Jesus), but I’ll be proudly wearing it for the Church even if some people think it’s a dress. As with any engagement, my goal is marriage (priesthood), but I’m realistic and realize not all engagements end in marriage. Either way, this is a love that won’t go away, and I’m already happy she’s asked and that I said yes to her and the man dress.