May 10, 2015

The Faithful Spouse, That Pearl of Great Price

God remains faithful to the sacramental bond even when that bond has been rejected by man

"...I am so grateful for the decision to be faithful (which could so easily have been different) because God has graced my life and that of my family out of all proportion to my feeble “yes”. In all of this, I have come to an appreciation of the beauty and strength of the Sacrament of Matrimony. It has increasingly dawned on me that I might never have known this had my marriage been stable. It has been a privilege I do not deserve to experience the Fidelity of God to the sacramental bond even when that bond has been broken. So wonderful is the Divine Fidelity that this is a truth I would love to see communicated to all sacramentally married people regardless of their situation."
(Faithful Wife of a serial abandoning spouse:

This is a Woman; This is a Mother; This is a Catholic Spouse. This is she whom the Bible refers to as the "pearl of great price". She who understood that the moment she pronounced her "I Do", she was forever bound to those words and to one man, regardless of what the future would bring. Whether she would eventually become a modern-day St. Monica, praying tirelessly for the conversion of her spouse and son, or, a Blessed Zita of Austria faithfully following her husband Karl into political exile, she fully understood it was "for better or worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, til death we do part". 


Voice of The Family last month posted on their blog page the full letter I excerpted above, written to then Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in December 2013. She thanks the Archbishop for his defense of Traditional Catholic Marriage, but then goes on to explain why she is thanking him, and it is not because her marriage has been all wine and roses. 

Far from that idyllic description, it can more accurately be described as a marriage of numerous Crowns of Thorn, with only a few periods of respite. Respites that one would have to think simply taunted her into a false belief she had finally found her earthly marital happiness. At its apparent final end, she more than likely could have found justification and sympathetic ears for an eventual divorce and annulment. After all, her spouses actions certainly could warrant a dissolution under C. 1095.2, could they not? 

But not for this particular wife:

"...Though at each desertion there were those who would see an end to the marriage and a new man in my life as the obvious solution, I trusted the Church’s teaching on marriage and knew that my vow was for life and doggedly insisted that a new relationship was not possible because “I was married”."

This is the Grace of the Sacrament, pouring profusely into a heart, mind and Soul, all three equally ready to accept the Calvary that, admittedly, she was already "doggedly" trodding. No smooth highway, no Prince Charming II, no future marital bliss...just the unbidden, but nonetheless real, marital cross she accepted at the altar. 

And this particular spouse - and thousands more like her -
are at risk of being jettisoned by the Roman Catholic Church - if - the German Catholic Church (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Roman Catholic Church, but operating as an independent entity) has its way.  

If the German "Bishop-Kasperite's" are successful come October, there will be no need for Catholic weddings, the need seemingly negated because the Sacrament of Matrimony will have been debased to man's ideals. Rather, it is hopeful that those of Christ will be upheld, something even the writer of the letter understood as necessary:

"The sad thing about the push to allow people who are divorced and remarried to receive Holy Communion is that Jesus, waiting within their sacramental marriage, is forgotten. If they would return to Jesus, He would welcome them and they could truly receive Him. In effect people want to receive Jesus in the Sacrament of the Eucharist but not in the Sacrament of Matrimony and so an impossible contradiction arises. In fairness to most of these unfortunate people they do not know, such has been the inadequacy of catechesis especially in marriage preparation. Communicating the “real presence” of God in Marriage seems to me to be the heart of the question that the bishops must address in the synods on the Family 2014 and 2015 in relation to your Instruction." (my emphasis)

[H/T to Louise, who sent the link that prompted this post]

Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

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