Skip to comments.VANITY: Searching for sainthood through marriage.
Posted on 04/05/2004 11:55:10 AM PDT by dangus
I keep hearing about how since Vatican II, the persepctive of the Catholic Church has changed: it no longer considers marriage an inferior vocation to the religious life. I'd like to think so, because I asked God if he wanted me to be a priest, and I got a very clear, "No!" Several, in fact. As in: "OK, God, right, got the message, really!" Yet, I believe we are all called to sainthood.
The issue is this: Most saints were priests, sisters or brothers. There's a few married saints I can think of, who were married, and became saints in spite of their marriage. I can find very few saints who achieved sainthood through their marriage vocation, although I think the Martins of Lisieux either are saints, or are being considered. Can anyone name some (post-biblical) saints who became saints through their vocation to the married life?
Second question is even wierder:
If marriage is a sacrament, then is Christian sex supposed to be a form of worship? I'm dead serious when I note that during sex is when some of the most hardened atheists call out for God. (No, THAT'S profanity, not worship, but it shows that the *instinct* IS there.)
The religious life is a higher calling. Taking vows of poverty, chastity and obedience puts one in a different league compared to marriage vows. Of course each one of us must work out our own salvation in whatever situation God has placed us in. But we should be prompted by honesty, by humility and by Catholic doctrine to recognize that the religious state of life is a higher one than our own.
No. While one should remember the presence of God in all activities no matter how mundane, the way to "subordinate the marriage act to a higher calling" is to preserve its inherent orientation towards the procreation and education of children. Here is what Pope Pius XII declared:
Articles, chapters, entire books, conferences, especially dealing with the "technique" of love, are composed to spread these ideas, to illustrate them with advice to the newly married as a guide in matrimony. If from their complete reciprocal gift of husband and wife there results a new life, it is a result which remains outside, or, at the most, on the border of "personal values"; a result which is not denied, but neither is it desired as the center of marital relations.
But this, however, it is a matter of a grave inversion of the order of values and of the ends imposed by the Creator Himself. We find Ourselves faced with the propagation of a number of ideas and sentiments directly opposed to the clarity, profundity, and seriousness of Christian thought. Now, the truth is that matrimony, as an institution of nature, in virtue of the Creator's will, has not as a primary and intimate end the personal perfection of the married couple but the procreation and upbringing of a new life. The other ends, inasmuch as they are intended by nature, are not equally primary, much less superior to the primary end, but are essentially subordinated to it.
We Ourselves drew up a declaration on the order of those ends, pointing out what the very internal structure of the natural disposition reveals. We showed what has been handed down by Christian tradition, what the Supreme Pontiffs have repeatedly taught, and what was then in due measure promulgated by the Code of Canon Law. Not long afterwards, to correct opposing opinions, the Holy See, by a public decree, proclaimed that it could not admit the opinion of some recent authors who denied that the primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of the offspring, or teach that the secondary ends are not essentially subordinated to the primary end, but are on an equal footing and independent of it.
Would this lead, perhaps, to Our denying or diminishing what is good and just in personal values resulting from matrimony and its realization? Certainly not, because the Creator has designed that for the procreation of a new life human beings made of flesh and blood, gifted with soul and heart, shall be called upon as men and not as animals deprived of reason to be the authors of their posterity. It is for this end that the Lord desires the union of husband and wife.
All this is therefore true and desired by God. But, on the other hand, it must not be divorced completely from the primary function of matrimonythe procreation of offspring. Not only the common work of external life, but even all personal enrichmentspiritual and intellectualall that in married love as such is most spiritual and profound, has been placed by the will of the Creator and of nature at the service of posterity. The perfect married life, of its very nature, also signifies the total devotion of parents to the well-being of their children, and married love in its power and tenderness is itself a condition of the sincerest care of the offspring and the guarantee of its realization.
It's a lot more than a mere metaphor or an allegory. Some passages simply cannot be 'allegorized'. Song of Songs is more a calebration of marital sexual love than anything else.