‘Til death do us part

Wedding rings with crucifix. Image courtesy of pixabay.com

In the passing of time, Christians have been tested by fire through different situations, regardless of their culture or belief. There is always something in common, from one generation to the next, to a privy issue – political, economic, social justice, of relationships between each another and among members of the family, or even spiritual aspects – in which answers have been discussed and offered yet the realization of those solutions, at times, has been too arduous.

As progress in technology continues, wherein connections of one continent to the other are no longer a great adversity, we find more and more that people become simply indifferent to each other, creating their own world. Everyone becomes professional and highly equipped to face the backbreaking, bustling society yet, these same technologies can give an avenue for us to be distant, complacent, and insensible to the dire needs of one’s brethren.

Nowadays, it can be so easy to hold on to something and letting go can also be carried out in an effortless manner, whether this is in business or in a relationship. Letting go can find us hurting so much – it can be so annoying a subject to talk over and much more so to the one who has experienced it firsthand. The issue of the breaking-up of couples is an ancient reality and each heartbreaking episode between the two individuals, primes a berth of growing moments to stay puissant in facing the realities of life. But is this the answer to a relationship that is shaken in one chapter of their journey as a couple?

When a man and a woman finds themselves so much in love and they choose to live as husband and wife, they make all things legal in the eyes of people, and they celebrate the sacrament of matrimony before God. It is the most righteous act because God Himself originated it. In fact, the wedding at Cana where Jesus was present simply gives us the perfect proof that God sanctifies every union of two such individuals and helps them to be a couple that will raise a Christian family where children will be guided to embrace a certain Christian vocation.

“The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.” (1601, Article 7, The Sacrament of Matrimony, Catechism of the Catholic Church)

The Church attaches great importance to Jesus’ presence at the wedding at Cana. She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of marriage and the proclamation that thenceforth marriage will be an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence.

(1613, Article 7, The Sacrament of Matrimony, Catechism of the Catholic Church)

But it is sad to know that a lot of married ones in this day and age end up with an annulment or getting themselves a divorce. Where is the LOVE that they used to fight for and hold on to? A love that says “for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, ‘til death do us part”. If the husband and wife start to give up, blinded with so much pain because of some infidelities or they misunderstand issues or precipitate incompatibilities everything collapses. The children, the family, the community and the whole Church are affected when the two individuals decide to separate ways.

At the altar. Image courtesy of pixabay.comMarriage is an amazing Christian Vocation and it can be a challenging labour of love – through these two people, united as ONE, a community of saints can be produced.  They are people who are holy indeed to work in the Lord’s vineyard throughout their lives and, if blessed with children, through the formation of the lives of their descendants.  Consequently, they need a mature way of embracing the marriage – and not just because each feels comfortable and happy to be with the other.

To be married is a way of life – not for trial and error in which it only becomes a time to find out if it will not work out and then leave behind the responsibilities that have been within their grasp. The husband and wife have the duties to love and help each other and to remain faithful until death, no matter what comes their way. Any challenges that they will meet as a couple, as parents and as individuals calls them to continue living as married ones.  These challenges can be ways to sanctify them: the imperfection of one can be made perfect by the other. There is a complementarity of the joined individual that will work not for oneself but for the two become one.

Man and woman were made “for each other” – not that God left them half-made and incomplete: he created them to be a communion of persons, in which each can be “helpmate” to the other, for they are equal as persons (“bone of my bones. . .”) and complementary as masculine and feminine. In marriage God unites them in such a way that, by forming “one flesh”, they can transmit human life: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.” By transmitting human life to their descendants, man and woman as spouses and parents cooperate in a unique way in the Creator’s work.

(372, Article 1, I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, Catechism of the Catholic Church)

There is no expiration of one’s commitment – once it is pronounce as “til death” then it must be lived and believed to be so. Marriage life then is not a matter of chance but a matter of choice, a choice in which the two individuals proclaim it to be lived with a true sacrifice and successfully if there is LOVE and Respect. A love that understands the imperfections and limitations of the other, working through difficulties as they arise and so then giving the Church a true witness of a vocation. Through the strength of this vocation, religious and priestly vocations will also be strengthened and increase because there have been mature and holy individuals who have guided their children to the vocation to which God has called them to embrace. The husband and wife whom God unites is the holy foundation of true vocations in the Church!

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