Thursday, March 25
Happily Ever After
Happily Ever After
By Jerome Placido
Coming back after being gone for three years, it was beautiful to see many of my friends being married or engaged to be married. For them I say a special prayer each day because I know that the devil has waged war against the very foundations of married couples for quite some time now.
It’s quite sad to see that over 50 percent of marriages in America “end in divorce.” Sometimes marriage is seen merely a contract or something is done out convenience, physical, material, or emotional, of both man and woman. The truth of matter is that the union of man and woman, husband and wife, is sacred and holy. It should be the source of strength and motivation for both to reach the heights of sanctity.
The bonds created in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, or Marriage, are made by God Himself and “what God has joined let no man put asunder.” (Mk 10:9) Meaning the vows that are made at the altar go beyond mere words and mingle as it were with the infinite, they echo for all eternity. So what’s with the 50 percent divorce rate? We can propose many reasons, and as a matter of fact there are many reasons. But it would do us well to focus on why two should marry to understand why some resort to divorce.
The union of Marriage is not only a celebration of mutual love but we often forget its other essential purpose. Not the tax benefits or being able to wake up next to the person you love in the morning, but the call for husband and wife to bring into this world new life. In other words, the calling of those married isn’t simply to love each other, but to allow that love to bring forth into this world a child of their own.
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read, "By its very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring, and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory" (CCC 1652). The word procreation seems to me the perfect word to emphasize from this excerpt from the CCC. The reason is because God could have, in His infinite power, continued to bring forth man from dirt, or even from pulling people from ribs. But instead of doing things that way, in His infinite wisdom and love for man He preserves the very act of creating new life especially for a man and a woman joined together in Holy Matrimony.
It’s not just any life; it’s a human being, with an eternal soul and a body which will serve as a temple of the Holy Spirit. It is another masterpiece of God imprinted with His very image and likeness. This act is one of the most beautiful gifts given to man and the Church says this is marriages “crowning glory.”
A Catholic author, Christopher West, elaborating on the “Theology of the Body” by Pope John Paul II said, “Divine love is generous, it generates.” To think, of all the people in the world, from the beginning of time, God had in mind you and your future spouse to be intimately connected with each other and with Him. It was written in His Heart that these two souls were to share in the beautiful act of creating life.
To put it plainly, we don’t marry only for our own intentions but we must take into account that singular intention that should motivate all other: Love of God. Yes we should love the spouse we marry, and the Church teaches responsible parenting which means we don’t arbitrarily give have x amount of children to the point where the very livelihood of the entire family is endangered, but we should not limit within the institution of marriage God’s infinite and Divine love.
God truly does write our own individual love stories and if we follow those statues he gives us we can rest assured that this love story has nothing else but a happy ending.