So, I’m going to shift gears a little bit on this post to talk about something else I am very concerned about. The “other” vocations crisis in the Church. The reading at Mass today was from Ephesians 5:21-33. This reading contains what I consider one of the most beautiful Bible verses, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church, and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” This is the purpose of marriage! Husbands and wives are called together in order to sancify each other and to give themselves up for one another. This is so beautiful and holy and good, and yet we are facing a major crisis of the marriage vocation. The breakdown of the family is precisely why we are facing a crisis of religious vocations. Marriage, particularly in the spouses’ “one flesh” union, is the “original revelation in the created world of the eternal mystery of God” and a forshadowing of the “Eucharistic communion of Christ and the Church.” It is the foundation of the entire sacramental order:
“Marriage is a vocation. Parenthood is a vocation. It’s no accident that most priests and religious emerge from believing, practicing, loving Catholic families. In fact, in many ways, the love between a husband and wife is the foundation stone upon which every other Christian vocation is built. Strong marriages and familites make a vital, joy-filled Church. The opposite is also true: Families who are lukewarm in their love for God and indifferent in their worship weaken every other dimension of Catholic life. That’s why the Church so urgently needs men and women who can provide the example and guidance our families need.” (Archbishop Chaput, Denver)
St. Joseph, Pillar of family life, pray for us.