Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Best Marriage

Read the excerpt below from:

on The Best Marriage from the page "Discerning Religious Life"at the website . Please post your comments and questions!

"It is therefore necessary during one's discernment to understand that religious life is not a "giving up" of marriage. Rather, it is an elevation of marriage, beyond this world, towards its ultimate fulfillment - it is to live, here on earth, a more intimate union with heavenly reality. Instead of marrying a fallible man, religious in a mystical sense marry Our Lord Himself, wed to the Church. Instead of raising children, religious adopt every soul as their spiritual child. Instead of devoting one's life towards the salvation of immediate family, religious devote their lives to the salvation of the world. In this way, the consecrated life is everything that marriage is, but elevated to a higher dignity and perfection. It redirects man's natural desire for marriage towards a higher and more perfect end; towards the mystical marriage between Christ and His Church. It is thus that the Church considers the consecrated life an act of supererogation, that is; for those who want to become perfect (Matt. 5:48, "be therefore perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect" ), for it is first by becoming perfect, that one is able to sanctify others to the highest degree possible. When a mother explained this in simplified terms to her six year old daughter, the child responded; "Why would anyone want to marry a man when they could marry God?" Although her answer may be somewhat simplistic (Our Lord may call certain souls specifically to marriage, to fulfill a certain work in the world), nonetheless it does speak a certain truth. Jesus Christ is the perfect spouse of our soul; it is only He who can fill the natural void in our hearts perfectly. The better life, according to Our Lord, is to simply sit at His feet like the Magdalene, rather than become divided over temporal matters (Luke 10:42)."


  1. I have sometimes heard people say that they are sorry for me because I have given up so much to enter the Religious Life. I like this article because it tells of the beauties of the Religious Life that people often do not see. When I reflect on my espousals to Christ and on the life I live with Him, I realize how I have given up so little and yet gained everything…Him. I truly feel that I have the best husband in the world and I would not chance Him for anything!

  2. What a beautiful article excerpt! Thank you for sharing it with us. I was drawn, in the early days of my sudden realization that a vocation to religious life WAS possible in this age, to the beauty of the "mystical marriage" sisters enter. I watched a video made by the St. Cecilia (Nashville) sisters, and was awed and delighted at how they stressed this point. I will remember how this article states that marriage is almost fulfilled in religious life--not sacrificed. I think it will help me to explain it to people who think it "weird" to consider religious life better than marriage.

    I also greatly love the practice of many orders of sisters that have the investiture of the novice be like an earthly wedding--even with a white wedding gown and a veil. I love this idea.

    Also, as for myself, being someone who is rather shy (even around children) and who has always wanted to write good, Catholic, missionary-style books, and also as an artist who has always thought of everyone as having some beauty, I can really appreciate the concept of loving ALL souls as children--praying for ALL of them. This calling rather helps me to understand how I have met, liked, admired, etc., many men, but I have always felt distant from them. I thought it was the "observer" effect of a good writer (who tries to understand everyone yet does not give himself/herself to everyone). Now I think it is the perfectly loving indifference (in the sense of being indifferent that the person love you as long as he/she loves God) that seems to be part of the gift of a religious vocation.

    I apologize for writing so much!
    Again thank you for posting this!
    Please, if you read this, pray for my health issues to resolve so that I can pursue entering an order!


  3. Oh, and thank you, Sister (the one who wrote above me)--for sharing your lovely and invaluable experience!