Friday, January 02, 2009
The Big Day Arrives
It was a very small ceremony in the Presbyterian Church near my home. I was raised Presbyterian but converted to Catholicism about 14 years ago. I still have enormous faith problems, but I believe I am a Christian, even though I rarely go to Mass anymore. I couldn't get married in my church unless I annulled the first, which has been suggested to me a few times, but I think that an annulment after 11 years of marriage and three children renders the distinction between annulment and divorce meaningless. Generations from now will look back on Catholic annulment like we now look back on Catholic indulgences. I'm not doing it even if that means I'm living in sin, a mortal sin, now. The Catholics are such sticklers for details; whatever happened to the thought counting? We first thought we'd do a civil ceremony but I'm glad none of the judges I know were available. It was a very nice service--intimate, meaningful, and short.
I thought I was pretty calm until I was directed to look into Kit's eyes, holding her hands, and repeat the vows. My voice choked up quite a bit. She just plain cried when it was her turn. I believe her when she said they were tears of joy. I hope I never give her cause for any other kind.
Dr. Johnson cynically called a second marriage the triumph of hope over experience. Yeah, exactly.
And love has a lot to do with it too.
Labels: Personal History; marriage
(And I respect your decision to treat annulment more seriously than the Catholic church does, but then I'm not Catholic, so you can discount that opinion appropriately.)
As a person who claims to be, apparently, a fallen away Catholic, you must know that it is your duty to conform your conscience to the teachings of the Catholic Church. To fail to do this is a grave matter.
I am not your judge and I am not attempting to be self-righteous, as I have had my own annulment travails with the Catholic Church, but I am simply speaking what is the truth to you for your good and the good of all the people in your life, including those who read this blog, which I happened upon.
What it means to you is, primarly, your business, but not solely your business, particularly as "marriage' is a public institution and as such can lead others into sin, by example. How you chose to act, or not act, with respect to this commentary, IS your choice. I would hope you take this in the spirit it is meant, as a witness to truth, as the Catholic Church teaches it, to the best of my knowledge.
One last note. There is reason for the saying " The devil is in the details."
It is not at all that Catholics are sticklers for details. That is not really an authentically charitable way to look at it. It is, rather, that submission to the will of God, in this circumstance as to respect for the institution of marriage and for the avoidance of scandal(which means not tempting another to be mislead into sin), is required for the good of all those touched by our lives. The Catholic Church teaches what is in the best interest of the disposition of the soul of a person. It is not at liberty to teach otherwise, although, certainly, many individual Catholics(including bishops, priests and Popes) have acted in ways that witness to the weaknesses of humans. We are all among the fallen.
I was divorced in 1990 choosing to remain faithful to the promises I made in marriage, which is a public institution. I have been far from a glowing witness to charity in my journey but the walk is not supposed to be easy(take up your cross and follow me) and happiness should not be misunderstood to be contained in mere feelings, no matter how profound or rewarding they seem to be even in a long-term.
Happiness to a Christian is knowing, loving and serving Christ in a manner that, although we are fallen and imperfect, gives a living witness to our fidelity(as poorly as we each live it) to HIS will and not to our individual interpretations of His will OR what makes us "happy" based upon our feelings, likes and/or dislikes.
For an understanding of "His" will I find Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 9:19 more persuasive that what the Catholic Church may or may not teach.
http://morechristlike.com/except-for-%20fornication-clause-of-matthew-19-9/ or http://tinyurl.com/7smk4n