Thursday 20 August 2009

Commentary- are people prepared enough for marriage!

Article by Marc Aupiais

I am well known for justifying my views, for once, I have determined not to, to purposely not justify these, as I do not think it necessary, even given less justification, less careful argument, I still believe that the obligation which comes with truth, is enough to make those who are rational consider this.

If you desire me to give justification of any point- email me. I have chosen not to justify my position, choosing rather to simply note my position on the matter- which still falls within apologetics, though differently.

The high divorce rates in the western world, accompanying low birth rates- and increased sickness in later life, due to this- is oft blamed on couples too young, or too inexperienced in life to marry. Ignoring of course, what I believe to be the real change- a loss of the security of the true marital pledge, and of a realisation of just what and how powerful marriage is.

To some this claim that lack of time is the only real reason is- rational- but I disagree. One need only look at regions where marriage succeeds to know this is false. As it is false, I believe it shows a lacking in understanding of Doctrine, or in respect for Doctrine among Catholics, including members of the hierarchy, who underestimate: what is to correctly baptised Christians- one of the 7 sacraments.

As Catholics, we believe that if there is informed consent by both parties to marriage, and if the people have the ordinary strength, and maturity which enables marriage- and if they go through the right ceremony- the two spouses have all the necessary elements to make a marriage work from the start. The institution itself, and the aid of God and Honest Intent to serve God in marriage, and fulfil the vows- all aiding those who enter it willingly.

Granted, having sex before marriage with a person, or ignoring of the essential factors of love and trust could wreck a marriage- but the fact remains that the elements are there as long as the ceremony is entered by both in informed consent (if there are no legitimate reasons for the couple not to be united).

Now, I have never been through a marriage- but my task is not to share experience or speak of what I am experienced with- but to analyse truth, and attempt to give a Catholic perspective, which can be used as a basis before one uses the facts to argue this case against false perception.

If God unites those Christians in Holy Matrimony who fulfil the canonical requirements- then the Catholic should not believe that these- this couple: do not have the basic elements needed to make it work. We are not wiser than God- and the fact is- many make marriage work when much younger, or poorer or less "prepared" than many people marrying these days.

I do believe that marriage must be cautiously discerned, done with the advice of God in prayer, and rational thought- and following intuition and truth beyond emotion- but I do not think it wise of us to doom persons marrying without as much thought as others would like. If they fulfil the canonical requirements... And God unites them, he would not do so unwisely. They do have the basic foundation to make it work- Marriage itself being this foundational requirement.

If the requirements were not fulfilled, no marriage even occurred- so the Catholic view claims. Granted, sometimes a spouse becomes unmanageable, or the like- and there may be need for physical separation of the two.

I would venture as far as to say that it is society's perception of marriage- as though it is temporary, or requires anything but marriage, to be marriage- which dooms "marriages"- but if one is entering a temporary union- one is not getting married, and therefore should not claim that it was a lack of experience which wrecked the marriage- there was no marriage at all. The founding prescription of marriage is a leap- by which one enters a lifelong union, one which is open to life, and between only the two.

It may be noticeable that I have hardly referenced this article in the least. The reason is simple- I do not think it necessary. God does not demand more of us than we are capable of- and it may take two to tango, but often a bit of striving and longsuffering- allows us to maintain hope and our relationships beyond what we thought possible. I often find I am able to befriend those I have nothing in common with- so much lies in small things like handshakes or hugs, greeting and talking.

Our most basic preparation for marriage is our own home- living with our relatives et al. So, while I believe marriage should be carefully discerned, I also think more effort should be put on maintaining marriages- and less on misconceptions of a soul mate. I believe God has set aside one specific woman for me- but God is Reality, are we to say that an almighty God makes a mistake when he unites a couple. One's "soul mate" is not the other half of their soul- our souls are each fully made.

God, who is Reality (the substance on which existence rests), does not wrongly unite two Christians. Any soul mate is a real person, and it is God we should first trust to know who they are- God does not make unjust laws.

I hope my words justify themselves to my fellow Catholics.

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