"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church. He gave Himself up for her." —Ephesians 5:25
Much attention and prayer is devoted to the priest shortage in the Church. The Church in her wisdom has resisted watering down the requirements for the priesthood. A vocation crisis also exists in Christian marriage. In the USA, the very definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman (Catechism, 1660) is under attack. Half of Catholic marriages end in divorce, while many couples who have not divorced are miserable.
A vocation is a supernatural calling, not a natural one. We cannot live our God-given vocation by lowering God's standards. Rather than making marriage "easier" by requiring less and operating in the natural, we must live marriage in the supernatural by a life in the Spirit, and daily seeking and receiving the grace of holy matrimony available in the Spirit.
Minimizing marriage by cutting back, contracepting, or taking shortcuts simply is another way of quenching the Spirit (Eph 4:30). This is quenching love. This is not giving all. When we don't give all, we don't get all. Instead of making marriage easier, we make it harder because we block the Spirit of life, and move toward death rather than new life.
Give all to your vocation. Holy Catholic marriages have great power to break the vocations crisis by being the seedground of holy lay single and consecrated religious vocations (see Gal 6:7-8). Just as good priests attract future priests to the priesthood, good marriages attract other good marriages and foster holy vocations.
Prayer: Father, may I throw myself into my vocation and abandon my life into Your hands.
Promise: "Happy are you who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways!" —Ps 128:1
Praise: Roger refused a promotion because it would mean taking time away from his family.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 6, 2006
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.