Monday, July 05, 2010

I am going to start doing a little project

On vocations. Not focusing just on vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, or consecrated life. In Catholic World those are the vocations that get "talked up" because they seem to be the rare vocations... the path easily missed... the calling easily drowned out by the noise and distraction of our culture. Marriage, on the other hand, is the "natural" vocation, the seemingly more easy choice, the path nobody will look at you funny for taking, the expected thing to do. So we don't talk about marriage, much. Until someone tries to legalize homosexual "marriage" of course.

Despite the relative silence, there IS a vocations crisis happening in marriage, as well. A quick look at the divorce rates in our country makes that clear. And we can't blame it on the pagans or the ungodly liberals. Did you know what group has the lowest divorce rate in the USA? Atheists. Do you know what group has the highest divorce rate? Fundamentalist Christians. No joke.

Even Churches that follow the Bible's teaching on divorce are having problems. The Catholic Church in America has one of the highest rates of annulment of any Catholic country in the entire world. (I'm going to go into that topic more in a later post, what is an annulment, why is it NOT a "Catholic divorce," what makes it so different from divorce etc, but I'll leave it for now.)

The Church generally requires a lengthy preparation period during engagement, in which the couple has to discuss everything from faith to finances to sex with their priest and the specially-trained groups who run Pre-Cana programs. The intense Catholic system of pre-marital counseling is much admired by other denominations and by secular authorities. And yet later, so many of these couples are determined to have had an impediment to marriage. In my Cleveland diocese the mandatory prep period is at least six months. I have heard in other dioceses of waiting periods of nine months to a year. Is that the answer? Make it longer and more intensive?

I believe myself that I am called to marriage, and I believe I know who I am called to marriage with, but I am trying to stay open to whatever path God leads me on. To me there aren't a lot of resources for people who have discerned the marriage vocation and I'm going to be doing some investigating to see what I can find. Ooooo... this could be boring or it could be interesting! I guess we'll see :)

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