Couple African American with laptop - smallWritten by: Fr. Mike Simoes

Unfortunately, instead of reflecting about the coming of Our Lord at Christmas and His Second Coming I have been focused on preparing for final exams. Yet, when I read Niki Lau’s blog entitled “I Choose true Love”, I was struck by her last line, “Sure, you can have a real relationship with another person that involves sex before marriage, but what I’m saying here is, a real relationship is 100% guaranteed without sex before marriage. And in a world of increasing odds against successful marriages, that is where I’m placing my bet on.” This just so happens to be what I was studying at the time and so I would like to “spring board” my blog from hers.

Marriage preparation seems to be significantly lacking in our day and age. I reflected more on this during my Moral Theology course on Sexuality and Marriage. Blessed John Paul II, in his apostolic exhortation Familas Consortio, speaks of remote preparation from marriage, distinct from proximate and immediate. Remote preparation begins in the family where a child can look at the love between their parents and learn to model that in their own life.

Marriage is a school of love, a love that involves a full sharing of life between spouses, that says “I love you” day in and day out, in good times and in bad times. A love that states “I love you, only you and everything that you have, fully and totally.” We don’t just consent to the other on the day of marriage, we have to consent to the love between each other day after day. When this happens, the relationship becomes a personal communion of love that is an image of the love in the Trinity.

I think our high divorce rates and people stating, “I just don’t love him/her anymore” is the cause for the malformation of our young people. And sometimes you might feel this way in your married lives but it is here that marriage “in Christ” becomes vital. It is here that our openness to God’s grace in the marriage allows us to overcome these times, to sanctify it and elevate it in order for us to participate in the sacrificial love of Jesus on the cross. We need to combat the message that young people are hearing – a message of cheap, flippant love that fades as the seasons pass – with a focus on prayer and committing to building up families that may become “what they are”, to be a personal, loving communion that radiates in the world.

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