Saturday, April 13, 2013

Marriage For Life

  "Committed for life" and "Transmission of life".  These two components of marriage are also true of  Religious consecration.  My religious vows bind me to Christ and His Church for life.  The greatest calling of a religious is the vocation to fidelity and authenticity- being faithful and true to what they are called to be.  There will always be difficulties and problems in religious life as its members try to be transformed in the image of Christ.  But despite it all, we fix our eyes on the One who called us.  Our success is not measured in the number of ministries we have, the eloquence of our words, not even the noise and influence we make in the world.  Our success is measured on how close we have come to the imitation of  the poor, obedient and chaste Jesus.
Our union with Jesus is not for the sake of oneself alone.  Spiritual marriage effects spiritual motherhood so that new life could be created from ones sacrifices, prayers, and consecration.  "To save souls" was St. Therese's reason when she entered Carmel.   The religious vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, are meant to open a religious up to give birth to something new, and by her union to Jesus, to be a mother to souls.
The crisis in marriage these days is a crisis in commitment and fidelity.  It is not because we don't understand that marriage entails being committed and faithful.  For a Christian nation that we claim to be, we understand this precept well.  But understanding and willing  are two different things.  We know that to be faithful takes sacrifices and forgetfulness of self.  It means putting aside our selfish wants and needs for the sake of the other.   Do we have the determination and will to do this?  In a culture where moral  standards are getting weaker and relative, the will is weakened as well because conscience is dulled and intellect darkened.  Marriage is special and created for a purpose. Marriage preserves the existence of what we call society.  Sexual union between a man and a woman  is not to be for pleasure only but a cooperation in God's plan for humanity.  
To be equal does not mean to be similar.  We are all equal in dignity, we are all children of God.  But we were not created the same.  Man is different from woman in physical, emotional, social attributes.  Each is different but complementary.  One completes the other.  Gender equality does not mean competing with each other. It's about acknowledging differences and potentials, accepting weaknesses and respecting strengths.  It's when we lose sight of the dignity of the other person, despite the differences,  that we end up in divisions and misguided justifications of one's worth and purpose.

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