The Living Sacrament: Marriage
(continued)

In every Sacrament there is the Presence of God. This Living Sacrament of Matrimony must find its source in the fountain of Living Water, the Divine Presence, if it is to manifest that Presence to the world. A couple, in Jesus, is a real witness of the power of God in our midst. It is a concrete example of the life of the Trinity.

Prayer and the Presence of God are necessary for the fruitful living of every state in life, but how much more in those states that are themselves a Sacrament! When we begin to live in the shadow of our own presence, our world gets smaller, our views narrow, and our attitudes intensely self-centered. Everything and everyone around us jars our nerves and sets our teeth on edge. It isn't always this way because life is impossible, but because our attitudes and selfishness narrow our perspectives, and our pain is concentrated in the small area of our own private world. That intensity makes life unbearable, the future bleak and the past a total failure. Any couple with these attitudes cannot see good in anything that happens to them, much less anything good in each other. Excuses for hatred, adultery, coldness and indifference abound and are rationalized because the misery they feel seems so real and unavoidable. The truth is that it Is real, but it is something that can be avoided and used as rungs on the ladder of holiness.

Once we realize that human frailties give us opportunities to choose between acting like ourselves or acting like Jesus in any given situation, we begin to see the necessity of responding with love instead of reacting with uncontrolled anger.

The virtues of patience, love, gentleness, fortitude, faithfulness, trust and self-control are not easy to acquire except through the power of the Spirit living in us. These are "decision" virtues - products of our will choosing to be the opposite of any bad feeling welling up within us. When we must fight against the evil tendencies within us on a daily basis, our souls become weary of the effort, our will lags and our determination weakens. Perseverance becomes difficult and the reality of this struggle going on for years paralyzes our soul into spiritual inertia.

How can a soul reach for peace and joy and everything it longs to be unless that soul places itself within the Presence that ever surrounds and penetrates its being? To consistently be unaware of that Presence is to be a cube of ice in the midst of a fire. Once the soul yields itself to that Presence as one who is in need of everything, it begins to absorb the beautiful qualities of that Divine Presence. Faults, weaknesses and temperament clashes begin to melt away. Root causes become exposed and are cut away, leaving room for new healthy growth.

In every Sacrament there is the Presence of God. This Living Sacrament of Matrimony must find its source in the fountain of Living Water, the Divine Presence, if it is to manifest that Presence to the world. A couple, in Jesus, is a real witness of the power of God in our midst. It is a concrete example of the life of the Trinity.


 

 

c o n t i n u e