Monday, January 14, 2008
Christian Marriage in the New Millennium
The "traditional" Catholic view of Christian marriage is that it is a vocation in life like a religious vocation or a celibate vocation, with the purpose of having children to found a "domestic church." And as far as vocations go, that's about the only three that exist in the church.
I find this view of marriage outmoded in its view of married life and the official meaning of vocation too limited. Our Christian vocation in the widest sense of the word should be of the greatest importance in our lives, whether this means married life, priesthood, prison ministry, social worker, volunteer work, being a cook, private prayer, bus driver, etc. In whatever way we discern the Christian call, THAT very well could be our vocation in life.
After that, it is seeing how everything else fits into that Christian vocation, including marriage. Perhaps marriage fits in easily, but depending on an individual's vocation, certain marriages may be not work out or simply be unwise, even where love is concerned. And of course, in this view of marriage, having children is not necessarily an essential part of marriage or the marriage sex act. Again, it needs to fit into the vocations of the individuals. Whether the marriage is between a man and a woman, a man and a man, or two women, has no importance when measured with if the marriage fits into the vocation of the individual members.
A Faithful Catholic