By Guest Blogger Anthony Bennett
I met my now-wife in college through campus ministry. There, we saw firsthand the witness of holy people living out a personal relationship with the Lord. And through that program, we both came to know Christ and experience a profound conversion. After college, we both went our separate ways, and while we struggled to keep our faith in Christ at the center of our lives, we both continued drawing upon that original experience as a source of comfort and strength.
It wasn’t until years later, when I was at particularly low point and feeling very lonely, that God decided to intervene and bring us together through various circumstances. I’ve never felt the Spirit leading me more explicitly and powerfully than in the months we dated and the year we were engaged. It was as if His plan was set out before me, and everything I experienced was a sign of His great love and mercy for me. He reminded me that only by committing my entire self to Him would I be truly happy and free (cf CCC 1814).
“God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. … That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.” (cf Gen 1:27, 2:24)
You’ve probably heard these words via Mark 10:6-9 at any number of weddings. My wife and I selected that reading for our own wedding, very intentionally, as a means of catechizing our family and friends. We’re no saints, but we wanted our wedding to be a witness and a sign of our Catholic faith. After all, the Lord had been instrumental in our lives, how could we let Him be otherwise in our marriage?
Take a closer look at the words, and you’ll see that the Christian conception of Marriage is inextricably linked to the Divine: Marriage is inseparable from Faith. While we are all an image of God, think how much more vividly and clearly the Trinity is made manifest by married couples! Through their marital union, husband and wife become co-creators, an image of the Father; their children, an image of the Son; and the love they share, an image of the Holy Spirit. What an awesome responsibility!
The Church has so many beautiful things to teach us about Christian Marriage. They may be hard to understand and accept sometimes, but I invite you to humbly take them on faith and live these things out in your life. I can tell you from personal experience that the more you trust, the more grace flows into your marriage, and the easier it becomes to believe. As His Holiness Benedict XVI said recently at the World Meeting of Families, the vocation to Marriage “is not easy to live, especially today, but the vocation to love is a wonderful thing, it is the only force that can truly transform the world”.