Weekend Reflection – for you. Aidan Troy, C.P. - just my view!
As a person who has never married and not known its joys and its challenges, I need to be humble in writing about marriage. This challenges me as I listen to the Word of God this weekend. My first experience of marriage was that of my parents. As a child growing up, I loved the place I called home and the family to which I belonged. But, even in those years, I knew that not all homes and families stayed together. Next door to our home was an Orphanage. I used to worry about the children there and often ask if they were alright.
After four decades as a priest, I have concluded that parents, and families must be among the most heroic people that God has made.
This is not because I believe that all marriages work out well or that all homes are happy. I grew up also imagining that all priests’ lives always led to holiness.
There are great priests who have dedicated themselves to God’s service among His people. Such priests are still in ministry. Other priests have criminal records. But, that does not mean that God made a mistake in creating the Priesthood. God gave us His Son as the One priest. All of us share in Jesus’ priesthood through our baptism and some by ordination. Couples do not marry to get divorced. It happens. Reasons for a divorce can be as numerous as couples who suffer the pain of the breakdown of their relationship.
Their pain calls us to prayer and any help we can offer. Couples are well-placed in every parish to be the companions to other couples going through this pain.
This week a Marriage Preparation course will begin at St Joseph’s. These couples will search together to enter the Sacrament of Marriage as worthily and prepared as they can. They will be supported by our prayers.
We are fortunate that each year generous couples are ready to lead this preparation by sharing their own experience of living the Sacrament of Marriage. It will be a joy to listen and to share in any way I can. This is a time of blessing for them and for us.
Pope Francis in calling a Synod on the Family two years ago, sought the guidance of the Holy Spirit on how best to deal with the joys and the heartbreaks of marriage. He gave great hope to many people that God had not abandoned them, even when their marriage had not worked out. He also caused upset to others who do not see things his way.
One uniting factor is that all of us are called to work and pray that the Love of God in our hearts will work out in our vocations.