The Vocation of Marriage
What is a Vocation?
A call from God to a distinctive state of life, in which the person can reach holiness. The Second Vatican Council made it plain that there is a “Universal call [vocatio] to holiness in the Church” (Lumen Gentium, 39). (Etym. Latin vocatio, a calling, summoning; from vocare, to call.)
As a woman, married to my husband, and also one who has accepted our Lords call for me to the Third Order of Carmel, I can strongly attest to the importance of “Ongoing Formation” with my brothers and sister in Carmel. We meet once a month, now, after a few years of discernment on my part, and my orders, as to, is this the correct path for me? Am I doing this because of a call from our Lord or am I doing this for selfish ideal, or for some other purpose that our Lord has not designed? There is a lot of time spent, in prayer and pondering a big decision as this.
As a married woman, when I look through my entire life, now, I can attest to the strong need for formation, BEFORE the Sacrament of Marriage, starting at a young age, before one jumps into the Vocation blind. As a soul who has had my fair share of interaction of others, who did not understand the Sacred Bond of the Vocation of Marriage, I ate up all the false ideas of this vocation, including the one that the world tries to feed us, that if it doesn’t work, just leave. No. When we come to understand, that decision to leave, is nothing but toxic poison that kills family due our own underdeveloped conscious, and we end up making life worse for not only us, but for all the souls effected by the sudden departure of a new family destroyed by divorce.
When I was very young, I held the strong belief that if one were to have relations with someone, they were in fact married and nothing could take that bond back, that the two shared together. It was a bond no one else had a right to share with either of the two. The most toxic thing someone told me, not long after I presented that belief I held at a very young age, was, that was the dumbest thing I could ever think or believe. Today, at the age of 50, I forgive that person and know I was right. Hindsight is 20/20. Very clearly I can see that if I had souls in my life at that time, who backed up what we believe in our faith, my life may have been a lot less painful. Only our Lord knows. But I also see how merciful He is, to lead me back to Him and that train of thought which keeps me on His track. Able to teach my daughters how important it is, to preserve the gift of self for the time our Lord has laid out for us, be it Marriage or Religious Life and not just cast ourselves wherever and whenever.
Getting back to the Vocation, A call from God to a distinctive state of life, in which the person can reach holiness. With my Vocation in Marriage, I am called to help my husband get to heaven. As he is called in this Vocation, to help me get to heaven. Last year, we were so greatly attacked spiritually and physically, this call could have ended. Through the grace of our Lord, I held on tight knowing, His love, His mercy, His call, that there was no way, on my part, I could allow something like the demon of divorce to be allowed to part, what our Lord had placed together. The temptation to walk away came dangerously close, until I was able to see how “easy” the evil one was making it to leave. I dug in and held on to our Lord, and last weekend, my husband and I renewed our Marriage Vows. This was not something we planned or set up for us to do. I had accepted a fill in request to be an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion for the Saturday Holy Mass, which we very rarely attend, and it was a special event that had been a part of Saturdays Holy Mass, without prior knowledge of either of us.
Today, there is a report from Pope Francis:
Marriage prep should be more than just a few courses, Pope tells priests
I can not tell you how much support I have for this as I am one who truly believes that Marriage preparation begins in the home, the moment our children are given to us as parents. Formation is a life long process, which should be deeply taught to youth, before they even set out in search of a spouse.
I will leave this here, with a quote in which I find to be so true and one I see to, even today, in my current state of Life, in my Vocation of Marriage.