Friday, November 04, 2005

Short Reflection on Marriage

The two Sacraments which pose the most challenges are the Sacrament of Marriage and the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Why? It is because it involves the human heart.

Let us hone in on just the Sacrament of Marriage for now since it is the general intention of the Holy Father this month of November.

What is marriage other than a life of constant gift-giving between a man and a woman. If this was the case, then there needs to be a constant intermediary in this process of giving and receiving. What if this process goes stale or if the action of giving is not being reciprocated by the other? What if the man or the woman says “I do not like my marriage!” or “I am tired of being with this person?”. Where do they go? What do they do? Some resort to marriage counseling which can easily be an opportunity to open up old wounds or point the finger. Others find the easy way out by separation or divorce.

Well then, let us think for a minute what we do when we receive a gift. Not knowing what the gift is, when we open it, we either like the gift or we don’t. But if we don’t like it, do we throw the gift in the garbage? Or do we put it away until we find some use for it or give it to someone who can use it? I would like to think that we tend to do the latter.

It is the same with marriage. For it to be a Sacrament, God must be present as the ultimate source of life between the man and the woman. It is "to share in divine life". (CCC 375). Without God, the couple is likely to give way to human frailty and like a lose thread, their union will begin to unravel. The gift of giving oneself to another is a gift that only God can sustain by His grace. When the married couple opens up the gifts of marriage, there will be times when one of them or both will not like the gift that they see. With God who holds them together, the graces of the Sacrament of Marriage insures that one or both will surrender these gifts over to Jesus who can use it for His greater purpose.

Man and woman were made "for each other". 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". (CCC 372).

Listen to Bishop Sheen's Sacrament of Marriage.


Blogger antonia said...

Thank you so much for your thoughts and for the audio file of Bishop Sheen's teaching. It was really helpful for me!

7:49 AM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

You're welcome Antonia! I'm so happy to know that Bishop Sheen's preaching helped you. Congratulations on your engagement! May our Blessed Lord grant you an abundance of blessings.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Carmel said...

Thank you for this, this is quite good for me right now since I am preparing for marriage (yes to a Catholic) I always learn something here!

7:55 PM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

You're welcome Carmel! You're visits and readership are a blessing.

Congratulations to you and Jonathan as well. May God bless you both!

8:13 PM  

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