Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Reason no. 16 why I remain Catholic: Sanctity of Marriage

"He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” Matthew 19:4-6

Marriage is a holy covenant; an indissoluble bond marked by the grace of God.

When David and I got married, we had recently read about a tiny little town called Siroki-Brijeg in Bosnia-Herzegovina where there have been no documented divorces for centuries! We couldn't believe it. We knew that we were wanting to marry for life. For us, divorce wasn't even a question. It wasn't a thought!

The people of Siroki-Brijeg believe that salvation comes through the Cross of Christ; through suffering and sacrifice. When young couples are preparing for marriage they are not told, you have found your other half, they are told, you have found your cross! "A cross to be loved, to be carried, a cross not to be thrown away but to be cherished."

The ritual is this: the bride and groom bring to the Church a crucifix. During the exchange of vows, the bride places her right hand on the crucifix and the groom places his hand upon hers. Once they have exchanged their vows, they do not kiss each other, but the cross. Their marriage is rooted upon the Cross of Christ. If they abandon their spouse, they abandon Christ.

This is the what marriage is, a cross we are to love and cherish. Through marriage, we find the one who will lead us to heaven. My duty is to take my husband to heaven and thus his duty is to take me to heaven. We become each others cross in as much as God works through each one of us to bring us salvation. It is Christ who works in and through us to save our spouse and love our spouse.

The proof is in the pudding. Here are some interesting statistics:

Fifty percent or more of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce.

Couples who marry in the Church have a 38% divorce rate.

Couples who attend Mass have a 17-18% divorce rate.

Couples who practice NFP have a 5-7% divorce rate.

Couples who pray meaningful prayer together have a .06% divorce rate! That is 6 out of 10,000 marriages!!!

Families who pray together indeed stay together and that is simply because the Cross is at the center. The Cross of Christ is a school of love because His ultimate sacrifice is what real love is all about. To give our life, to give ourselves to the other is love that lasts. And in order to have an enduring love, it must be sustained in and by Christ.

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