On April 29, 2015, Pope Francis said, “The family is at the top of all the indexes of satisfaction among young people; however, out of fear of making a mistake, many do not even want to think about it; although they are Christians, they do not think of sacramental marriage, unique and unrepeatable sign of the alliance, which becomes a testimony of faith.”
Love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). So why is it that the fear of making a mistake has so strong a hold on couples who are in love? The radical love of Christ overcomes fear, including this particular fear, but so few know how to avail themselves of his help, and until they are given an understanding of the value of surrendering their lives completely to Christ, they won’t even try.
The pope continued: “In fact, perhaps this fear of failing is the greatest obstacle to receiving the word of Christ, who promises his grace to the conjugal union and to the family.”
How can they grasp the value of surrendering to Christ if they did not grow up in a family where both parents understood it? And if they did grow up under the example of a consecrated marriage that was fully alive in the love of Christ, the world’s enticements have distracted them from it. They belong to a world that’s vastly influenced by media that glorify sex, devalue commitment, and make Christians look like buffoons.
Pope Francis often says that those who do have sacramental marriages have a gravely important responsibility. We must become more apparent as good role models. He said, “The most persuasive testimony of the blessing of Christian marriage is the good life of Christian spouses and of the family. There is no better way to describe the beauty of the Sacrament!”
The vocation of marriage is a calling to help our sweethearts grow closer to Christ, but that’s just the beginning. The calling extends to children, of course, but also to couples in love who do not yet understand marriage as a union that is, as the pope said, “consecrated by God to safeguard that bond between man and woman that God has blessed since the creation of the world; and it is source of peace and of goodness for the whole of conjugal and family life.”
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© 2015 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries