One Wife, No Husband

Last week I made the mistake of turning on the television.  Worse, I watched long enough to see Anderson Cooper promoting the next guest on his talk show.  He said “Nadine” was going to discuss her recent marriage:  to herself.  And she did.  Nadine described her loneliness as a single woman and her desire to find a way to value herself just for being who she is and not because she was in a committed relationship.  She seemed intelligent, attractive and well-spoken.  I watched long enough to see her describe the video of her recent “marriage” ceremony and then departed for her honeymoon.  She recites her wedding vows to herself each day and often goes on “date nights” where she treats herself to a night out at a favorite restaurant.  She wears a wedding ring and considers herself really and truly married.  Nadine works very hard at trying to convince people she’s married and happy.  I’m not sure how many people believed her.
Nadine is a lot like the rest of us.  She wants to be happy and loved.  She wants to belong to someone and have a meaningful, intimate relationship.  Maybe she’s been disappointed in relationships before and she’s looking for someone who won’t let her down. Unfortunately, she’s bought into the post-modern myth that we can each make up our own truths as we go along.  It’s pretty easy to feel a bit sorry for Nadine because we all know women like her.  She thought she’d have a husband and family by now.  She’s a good person.  She deserves to have what she wants in life.  And when she doesn’t get it, she makes up her own rules.  After all, our culture teaches us that it’s okay so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.  And marriage is being re-defined every day by many in our world:  the homosexual lobby, popular media, and even the courts.  Culture tells us that men can “marry” men and women can “marry” women.  We see TV shows with one man “married” to four women.  How long before culture gives the nod to adults “marrying” children?  How about a wedding between a man and his dog?  A woman and her sister?  A guy and his car?  It makes Nadine look almost normal.
Like I said, I can understand how Nadine feels.  All of us want to be loved and accepted for who we are.  We long to be a part of something.  We want and need relationships.  I feel sorry for her.  Not because she hasn’t found a husband, but perhaps God is calling her to a single life and she doesn’t hear that call.  Or if she does, she can’t or won’t accept i.  Our culture believes that single people are somehow less-valuable than married people.  Folks have a hard time understanding how a single man or single woman could lead a fully-satisfying and joyful life.  I think this is one reason our culture doesn’t value the consecrated celibacy of religious sisters, brothers, and priests.  Single = unnatural or unhealthy.  Yet we know that God calls each of us to our own vocation and many are called to the single life, outside of religious vows.  Perhaps this is God’s plan for Nadine.  Or perhaps her story is just one more variation in the long, slow decline of marriage as a Holy Sacrament for the people of God.  Divorce, cohabitation, life “partners” and serial sexual encounters continue to erode at the fabric of the “domestic church” as our Catholic Catechism refers to family life (paragraphs 1655-1657).  Abortion is at the heart of this sad story, I believe.  I doubt Nadine would see it that way.  But a failure to value life as a sacred gift from God and a belief that we somehow “own” our bodies can lead to all kinds of logical and horrible consequences.  Such as 3000 abortions each day in America.  And a woman like Nadine who attempts to marry herself.
Through all this cultural confusion, Christ remains the clarion call of Truth.  His love and mercy reaches out to everyone who has been wounded by the sins of divorce, homosexuality, or abortion.  Jesus longs to embrace each one of us and to share a relationship with us in His Church.  His embrace IS the one true love which will never disappoint, never betray, never move on to someone else  Everything Nadine (and all of us) is looking for, is found in Him.  And without Him we wander about on our own, always looking for what other people can never give us.  
“One road leads home and a thousand roads lead into the wilderness.”  

                                                                                              —C.S. Lewis


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. frjuanvelez
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 23:43:00

    We live in a confused world; it is sadly confused because it ignores God’s loving plans of which read in this post. In Genesis chapter 1 and 2 God reveals to us his plan in creating man and woman, and in chapters 4 and 5, how Adam and Eve conceived children in their “image”. Pope John Paul II did a detailed a exegesis of these texts in his “Man and Woman He created them: Theology of the Body.” There he explains how Jesus reminded the Pharisees about God’s plan regarding marriage “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator created them male and female” (Mt 19:4). The Pope also comments in detail on how some are called to celibacy for the sake of the kingdom of God. As St. Paul explains in 1 Cor 7 each person has his gift (calling).


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