Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Feast of Saint Romauld
Good morning. We often confuse goodness with pleasure. And, this certainly seems to make sense; why after all would we deliberately seek out pain or displeasure? This is because we often see pleasure as the greatest good, that all of what we do or are driven to is directed in pursuit of pleasure. Blessed John Paul II writes of this in his book Love and Responsibility. If this were indeed true, there would be fewer babies than there are. This pleasure idea nevertheless tends to be a prevailing concept due in many respects because of the lure of materialism, selfishness and plainly our own sinfulness. We need only look to the extreme incidence of abortion in this culture, at the 80-95% of pregnancies with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome which are terminated, to appreciate the full extent of our selfishness and our tendency to avoid discomfort in our lives. This tendency toward seeking pleasure is often part of the struggle we experience in our marital relationships, and a key element in the high number of divorces. In the early years of marriage there is considerable fondness for each other and choosing to love comes quite easily. It is quite easy to love someone when they are being lovable. Jesus notes this in today’s Gospel.
It is in our recognition of something beyond the pleasure we offer one another that allows us to love each other even in the face of pain and sorrow and the challenges that come with enduring a loving relationship. We don’t just walk away from our marriage because it isn’t fun anymore or because my individual needs and wants aren’t being met. Yet, all too frequently that is what happens, and often at the advice of those who should be directing us to remain in the marriage. We live in a culture of divorce, if it hurts—get rid of it. No, it is forever, with all that comes with it, pain and pleasure. Just as God’s love for us is not selective, He loves us in spite of our imperfections, so too we are to love each other. Like Saint Romuald whose life we celebrate today, and all the saints, we are called to a life of holiness, but the path to holiness isn’t always pleasurable. We are reminded that one of the gifts of love is that of tears. The path to holiness calls us to look beyond pleasure and to look for joy in a faithful commitment to one another because the path to holiness is a call to love, and to love as God loves. Make a great day!
Today we recall the good life, gifts, and work of Saint Romuald.
Posted by Donald Gatwood at 6:39 AM