Wednesday, July 27, 2011

“As marriage goes, so goes the Church”

Weeks ago, a GW Catholic wrote on Facebook that he would never get married. I think it was in response to a politician who withdrew from the presidential race to be more devoted to his wife and family. Hopefully, the student’s post was more sarcastic than serious. This isn’t the first time that I’ve heard a student say – whether kidding or not – that he/she wouldn’t get married. It’s usually because they have lived through the dangerous and hurtful effects of their parent’s divorce or have many friends whose parents are divorced. This all occurred about the same time that good friends of mine witnessed the birth of their fourth son. I was thinking about how they met (at GW) and how they live out marriage, and thought about blogging about their situation as a great witness to Christian marriage. Soon after, same-sex “marriage” was passed into law in New York, so we had to address that here…and then, well, I went on vacation.

You students hear me talk a lot about discerning your vocation. This is the most important discernment in your life because your vocation – which every single one of you has – is primarily why God put you on this earth. He has a GREAT plan for each of you and it is through your vocation that you will live it out. I speak often about religious vocations because it is sometimes hard for young men and women to hear the Call. It is a supernatural gift that God is offering some of you. The call to married life is natural and more often on people’s minds and hearts. It is much more common; most of you are called to be married. I hope to focus more on marriage and preparing for marriage this year through homilies, discussions, and blog posts. It is SO important for each of you and for the Church. “As marriage goes, so goes the Church” is a common saying in the Church.

So, let’s build up marriage! My friends are an amazing example of a couple who is open to God, love, and life. They met at GW and were very active in their faith while here. I met them in 2005 as a seminarian helping out at GW Newman Center and St. Stephen’s on weekends from the seminary. God brought them together and they began to date. They grew to fall in love, and were actively discerning their vocations. At one point when things became serious, they each felt that God may be calling them to sacrifice their relationship and potential marriage in order to answer the call to religious life. What beautiful openness to God’s Will! Of course, when they asked me about this, I thought and probably even said to them, “are you crazy? He is calling you to be married to each other!” While I appreciated their docility, it was clear to me and their spiritual directors (their directors played the main roles in their discernment, I was simply a friend offering my opinion) that God brought them about to enjoy a life together as husband and wife. It was so obvious with the way He brought them together. I rejoice in stories like that and use their situation with other couples or individuals in discernment.

Below is a picture of this GW Catholic couple who now are loving life as husband and wife of six years with four beautiful boys. They are completely open to life and so we might see their family (and love) grow more and more.

Let’s build up marriage! To view a short video on the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, please click on today’s title and scroll down to the video on marriage.

1 comment:

Matt Shoemaker said...

WOOO Holy Matrimony! AWESOME :)