KITCHEN TABLE CHATS

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I have worn many labels (Not in any particular order): Catholic, Wife, Mom,Gramma, Doctor, Major, Soccer Mom, Military Wife, Professor, Fellow.

All of these filter my views of the world. I hope that like St. Monica, I can through prayer, words and example, lead my children and others to Faith.
"The important thing is that we do not let a single day go by in vain without putting it to good use for eternity"--Blessed Franz J├Ągerst├Ątter

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Thoughts on Marriage

Fr. Jim Tucker has posted the beautiful Exhortation Before Marriage. I am coming up on an anniversary in a few weeks. (22 years!) It is good to reflect on this sacred institution to which my husband and I have committed our lives. Fr. Jim mentions the wedding rite has been revised and no longer includes this passage. At some time before the wedding, however, brides and grooms need to hear these words:

This union is most serious, because it will bind you together for life in a relationship so close and so intimate, that it will profoundly influence your whole future. That future, with its hopes and disappointments, its successes and failures, its pleasures and its pains, its joys and its sorrows, is hidden from your eyes. You know that these elements are mingled in every life, and are to be expected in your own. And so, not knowing what is before you, you take each other for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death.

Truly, then, these words are most serious. It is a beautiful tribute to your undoubted faith in each other, that, recognizing their full import, you are nevertheless so willing and ready to pronounce them. And because these words involve such solemn obligations, it is most fitting that you rest the security of your wedded life upon the great principle of self-sacrifice. And so you begin your married life by the voluntary and complete surrender of your individual lives in the interest of that deeper and wider life which you are to have in common. Henceforth you belong entirely to each other; you will be one in mind, one in heart, and one in affections. And whatever sacrifices you may hereafter be required to make to preserve this common life, always make them generously. Sacrifice is usually difficult and irksome. Only love can make it easy; and perfect love can make it a joy. We are willing to give in proportion as we love. And when love is perfect, sacrifice is complete. God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son; and the Son so loved us that He gave Himself for our salvation. "Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends."


Thoughts about marriage preparations struck me this summer since my oldest son is now the age my husband and I were when we began dating. My son’s next crush or infatuation could be forever. What an exciting, sobering, terrifying thought. I’m praying my children can wisely and prayerfully discern their vocations, be it marriage, consecrated religious life, or a chaste single life. I really don’t know how I found my own path. I’m guessing my parents were praying for me. I also keep praying for the future spouses in my children’s lives. God knows who they are, even if I don’t. And I guess while I am at it I will pray for all those who will be married this month and all those who are celebrating anniversaries this month. May every husband and wife seek to lead his or her spouse to heaven.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I think it is difficult to explain to the engaged couple how much their life will change (or should change) after marriage, much as you can't explain to the expectant parent how different things are with kids.

I too am already praying for my kids to know their vocation and for their future spouses (if any). And for those couples now getting married or recently married, I pray that the grace of the sacrament helps them to make the necessary sacrifices for a successful marriage.