Holy Family

Holy Family

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Feast of Saint Rita of Cascia

Good morning. "What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine, too." We may find ourselves chuckling at this lead-in for an advertisement for a divorce lawyer I came upon, but the sentiment of this line is far too accurate in assessing the tone of divorce. All the years together, all the experiences, the laughter and the tears shared together wind up being cast to the side, and in its place spite, greed, and revenge. Divorce is just plain ugly! And the literature suggests that it is downright devastating for the children.

This self-indulging posture is not at all what any couple begins thinking their life together will be like. Well, most couples don’t anyways. In this day of pre-nuptials, where the presumption is ‘this may not last’ and ‘I love her but I love my money more’ there are those exceptions. That being said, most couples begin their lives together with the intent that it is for keeps and what’s mine is hers and what’s hers is mine. 

Most of us believe marriage is a sacrament, and we believe we will be given the grace to survive whatever life throws our way, if we only think to ask for it. Most couples do not enter marriage with pre-nuptial agreements and presumptions that it may likely fail (which by the way the Church prohibits pre-nuptial agreements). It is hard to imagine anyone entering into marriage with the consideration that it may not be forever and to make plans for it ending. Such thinking suggests little faith in each other, what alone the power of grace. Go figure! 

In today’s Gospel Jesus says to God the Father “Everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine.” Although He was referring to His Heavenly Father with these words, these sentiments apply to marriage as well. We are all called to the oneness which Jesus refers to, and this is especially true in our marital relationship. This is what marriage is intended to be, it was intended to be this way from the beginning; Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew reminds us: "Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Our marital relationship should reflect the same oneness Jesus has with the Father. 

Once married, it is no longer about me, but it becomes to be and should ever be about we. Yet, it is quite easy for us, in our current consumer minded, high-tech culture to lose touch with what's important in life. What is truly important in our lives is our marital relationship, life together with our life long help mate. It is through the sacrament of marriage that we are made one and called to serve as a help mate toward assisting each other in getting to heaven. Much of the world fails to recognize this. In fact much of our society fails to recognize there is a loving Christian God. And, most unfortunately we live in a culture which is far too ready to accept divorce. The United States accounts for two thirds of the world’s annulments. In 1968 there were 338 annulments granted, and that number has risen to some 60,000 per year. It is suggested by some that “A false notion of marriage, even a divorce mentality, seems to have taken hold of many priest and lay canon lawyers who adjudicate annulment cases.” Blessed Pope John Paul II noted in Familiaris Consortio that it is the “fundamental duty of the Church to reaffirm strongly, as the Synod Fathers did, the doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage.” 

We could all look to Saint Rita, whose life we celebrate today for an example of marital fidelity and indissolubility, despite much abuse she remained in her marriage until her husband’s death for eighteen years. Marriage should reflect that same oneness with God as we are likewise called to live as with each other. Our marriage should glorify God through the depth of our oneness, through the depth of our love for each other. How will our marriage glorify God today? Make a great day! 

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and work of Saint Rita of Cascia.


The Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Boston seeks retired, Catholic, professionally qualified psychologists, psychiatrists, or social workers (LICSW) to volunteer their time one to two days a month. In this capacity, the qualified volunteer will utilize their skills as a mental health professional to assist with Marriage Annulment cases. If interested, please contact the Very Rev. Mark O’Connell at 617-746-5901.

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