Culture of the Provisional

Catholic News Agency reported today on a response Pope Francis made during a Q&A session at a pastoral Congress in Rome.

“We live in a culture of the provisional,” which causes many couples getting married to say “yes, for the rest of my life!” without knowing what they’re committing to, and for that reason “the great majority of sacramental marriages are null”.

marriageIf we can’t look to Catholic sacramental marriages today for models of grace-filled permanent vocational choices, where can we?

The board in the hallway in the Catholic high school where my husband teaches with photos of all of the veteran teachers and coaches who have been there 10, 15, 25, 35, and even 40 years.

The plaque outside our worship space, dedicating the building to the original pastor of St. John the Evangelist, Columbia, MD, who was there for over 35 years. Or the plaque in the bookcase across the hallway to our pastor emeritus who served and ministered there for 32 years.

In the faces of our children’s teachers, catechists, coaches who have committed so many years to nurturing the faith of our communities. And the parish and diocesan leaders who have quietly, in many cases, brought the faith alive to generations of children and adults.

It seems like we are actually pretty good at this permanent, life-long commitment thing–just not in marriage??

So, what needs to change? What do we need to say or do differently to translate to this generation and the next so that they can live vocation-driven and married lives of grace, and not nullity?

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