Among the many issues on which our Catholic Faith conflicts with the prevailing secular culture, the teaching on marriage certainly is one of the most important. In fact, the secular culture rejects every aspect of Christian marriage: that it is a lifelong and faithful bond between one man and one woman, which is open to the gift of children. Marriage is the foundation of family life, and the family is the foundation of civil society. From the very beginning God intended that the union of man and woman in marriage be established as an enduring bond. This is not just sentimental wishing, but an acknowledgment of what God has done. The Church, following the teaching of Genesis and of the Lord in the Gospel, continues to teach that a true marriage forms a lifelong bond. “Therefore, what God has joined, no human being must separate.” (Mark 10:9) Does this seem like a hard teaching? It is a hard teaching. It is difficult to accept and often more difficult to live. But it is also true. Does not every couple who marries desire to live together in love forever? Does not every child desire to grow up in a family where both parents love each other? These natural desires indicate what God wants for us, too. Our Faith teaches us that marriage, therefore, is given to us by God for the good of the couple and for the good of children. (Notice how in today’s Gospel the Lord’s teaching on marriage is followed with his blessing of the children!) It is not sufficient to simply “want” these goods. Those who are contemplating marriage and those already married must make the right choices which bring about these goods. That which applies to every Christian applies in a particular way to married couples: seek the good of the other (your spouse), not your own; forgive others (your spouse) as you would wish to be forgiven. We must not allow ourselves to be swept along by this secular culture – which Saint John Paul II called a “Culture of Death.” Through the generous gift of oneself – especially within the holy bonds of marriage – we can build up a true Culture of Life.
The Diocesan Annual Appeal will begin soon. Within a few weeks you will be receiving your letter from Bishop Callahan with the Appeal material. Please pray for the success of the Diocesan Annual Appeal in our parish and throughout the diocese.
May God bless you!