Consecrated to the Heart of the Redeemer under the patronage of the Theotokos and Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

06 October 2012

Marriage: A Three-Ring Circus

It is said that marriage is a three-ring ceremony: the engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the suffering.  Spouses usually seek the first two rings with great excitement.  Nobody looks for the third one; it just comes.  But the third one lends meaning to the first two: when a married couple works together through their trials, purification and transformation result.  How much more so with God, who forged with the human race a “new and eternal covenant” by becoming man, by living, suffering, dying, and rising from death as man!  Thus the author of the letter to the Hebrews can proclaim that Jesus was “made perfect” through suffering.  His choice to enter most deeply into human existence redounded to our benefit: in Jesus mankind gained not a mere good moral example or kindhearted friend in times of need, but a Savior “bringing many children to glory.”
         Husbands and wives have the great privilege of participating in a design that points to “the beginning,” how God created man to be, in His image and likeness—that is, capable of communion and called to communion.  As Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are a Communion of mutual life and love, so are husbands and wives and children.  No created thing could be for the man what a woman could be: a “suitable partner” to become “one flesh” with him in conjugal union.  Together open to the divine abundance, spouses may become parents and form a “domestic church,” a setting to learn what it means to be truly happy, healthy, and holy.  Every domestic church experiences trials born of human weakness and sinfulness.  Those families endure who reverence the commitment that they have made and that God has made to them.  Through our repentance and conversion, God works great wonders in our midst.
         In light of this Good News we can recognize more clearly the obstacles posed to this divine ideal.  The misuse of the gift of sexual union spurs a variety of dysfunctions.  Today in particular we lament the tragedy of abortion.  Outside of our lawn have been posted 144 white crosses—one for every American baby aborted every hour: a “gross gross.”  Under the ridiculous mantle of “reproductive rights” our land has not just tolerated, but really encouraged, the problem that fouled everything up in “the beginning”: the union that exists for the bonding of spouses and the co-creation of babies now is broken.  As a result, sex ends up fulfilling neither function.  Babies have become a necessary evil; whenever and however possible, they can be avoided for the sake of convenience.  Spouses do not truly come together through sexual union, and marriage slowly becomes an obstacle to personal freedom.  How one can vote for a candidate that supports “reproductive rights” is beyond me, and more important, beyond the Church, and even more important, beyond human reason.
         When it comes to abortion, more and more people are starting to embrace the truth.  By God’s providence, painful experiences are becoming a source of healing.  But there are a host of other serious concerns: the promotion of same-sex activity and marriage, the foisting of mandatory access to contraception, the scientific creation of embryos for genetic selection, and so forth.  According to polls, many Catholics join their non-Catholic and secular counterparts in promoting these things.  It is no surprise that certain political candidates endorse most of these issues as a kind of “package deal.”  It makes sense, because these errors all have one origin, and they all tend to one tragic outcome.  Please investigate and embrace the time-honored, experience-proven truth about the sanctity of human life, and join in promoting the culture of life and love that originates in the heart of Christ.  The future of the Church depends on our commitment to the truth, both in our voting and in our daily choices.

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