Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The vocation of marriage talk ... given by newlyweds

So in our wise, wise stage of having been married eight months and having learned all there is to about the vocation of marriage and, of course, after having dated the most perfectly and holy-ily (is that a word?) way as possible, Mark and I were invited to come give a talk on the vocation of marriage to the St. John Neumann Church confirmation class for high school students.  Hahahahahahahah ... yea, I think it's safe to say that Mark and I were far from perfect in our dating relationship, and we've barely scraped the surface of our married life together.  "Two American kids doin' the best they can."  John Mellencamp-style.

In all honesty, Mark and I were humbled and honored to have been asked to give our reflection on this vocation to which him and I have been called.  One of the things about which I am most passionate is protecting the sanctity of marriage in today's society.  Everywhere you look in popular culture, there's something to tear down, belittle or deteriorate this most beautiful institution of marriage created by God and designed to bring us closer to Him.  To reflect the marriage of Christ the bridegroom to His bride, the Church.  To glorify His name.  Mark and I jumped at the opportunity to serve as Christ's voice to these 80 high school kids.

No, we don't know the half of what it's like to be married.  We haven't been through those life situations defined as those that "will make or break you or your marriage."  We do know, however, what it's like to earnestly discern your vocation and how to continue to view that way of life as just that -- a journey by which you grow closer to God and one that gets you into Heaven, God-willing.

In the first five months of our dating, Mark co-led a retreat for our young adult ministry with a friend of ours.  One of the talks given that weekend was by a young married couple, who shared with us the wisdom they had learned from their own vocation discernment, moving from single persons to a dating couple to husband and wife and then to parents.  One particular thing they said especially left an imprint on both mine and Mark's hearts -- it was that they felt it their duty to share their witness story as a married couple when invited to.  Invitations to share their vocation discernment story gave them the opportunity to spread the Good News about marriage (a vocation to which the majority of us are called, I think it's safe to say) and hopefully inspire others to earnestly discern their own callings.  The way in which they worded this was beautiful, and I'm sorry that I can't recall their exact verbage, but it was powerful enough to move me and my husband to joyfully accept any invitations to share our own story when given the opportunity.  One little way of ours to help build the Kingdom.

Hopefully we touched at least one heart in our talk on Sunday, whether it be a future priest / nun / person called to religious life, husband or wife, or person called to the single life.  I hope that it is a talk Mark and I will give several times over the next 60+ years that will only grow more beautiful with time.  God has much to do with us yet!
St. Patrick's Day, March 2006

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