Life in the Post-6th Commandment Culture
“Thou shalt not commit adultery” ~ God
“Undo ‘I Do’” shouted the billboard situated high atop the major highway I recently found myself traveling, with instructions on how you too can procure a “quick, easy and painless” divorce by merely calling the 800 number listed below the crafty and catchy headline.
Dating websites that now specifically target married people seeking extramarital affairs have become fairly commonplace. “Life is short. Have an affair” whimsically proclaims one of them, implying that infidelity belongs on one’s carnal bucket list somewhere between an Alaskan cruise and learning to play the piano. At least one cable channel had no problem taking this company’s money, thereby offering them the opportunity to advertise their illicit website to the masses.
Public figures, whether they be supporting actors, leading ladies, senators, outfielders or outside linebackers, serving as putrid role models in a celebrity-obsessed culture, routinely use the Sacrament of Marriage as a career enhancer or perhaps a means through which to increase his or her Twitter following. One recent actor, having already racked up 3 or 4 divorces, all but admitted in a recent interview that he married his most recent co-star in the hopes that it would give their current movie a boost at the box office. We live in a world that has for all intents and purposes abandoned the 6th Commandment.
How did this happen?
In today’s Gospel (Matthew 19:3-12) Jesus attributes it to the hardness of heart that came into prevalence among the people despite our Lord’s hatred for divorce, a hatred borne out of his profound love for his children. Our Creator knew the disastrous repercussions.
It would appear as though many have forgotten that Marriage is indeed a three-way Sacramental Covenant, its members consisting of one man, one woman and God. The “I can do it myself” mentality has taken over, when in fact we need God to preserve our marriages today now more then ever.
A quick scroll through my Facebook Page on any given day is liable to spy a couple being married on the beach, or perhaps in a mountain setting or plush country club. God invites us into his beloved home for this special day, yet many decline the invitation, choosing instead to cherish one of his creations as opposed to the creator himself, present in the fullness and richness of the sacred sanctuary that is his Church. In essence, we want God to bless our marriages with countless divine graces yet we don’t even invite him to the Wedding.
Far too few married couples even pray together anymore, much less attend Holy Mass together where they can be fortified by the Eucharist and thus become more virtuous and loving spouses, having the very body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus coursing through them. The Sacrament of Reconciliation has been largely forsaken as well, with forgiveness and the act of asking for forgiveness no longer held in the high esteem it once was and still should be.
The Fatima Apparitions warn us that Satan’s final and most vicious assault will be waged on the family. Marriage is not easy; even this perennial bachelor is not naive to that fact. And with hell’s most sinister and relentless demon working feverishly to topple it, the stakes become even higher. All the more reason to consecrate (or re-consecrate) one’s marriage to God. All good marriages have invited God into their marital union. No exceptions. All must look to do so. No exceptions.
As is the case with all things, a strong and vibrant marriage takes work. Let the Lord fight your battles; he hasn’t lost one yet.
“Lord, inspire our married brothers and sisters to turn to you, to invite you into their marriage where you promise to lavish upon them all the great gifts of the Holy Spirit, allowing them to know you, love you and serve you as one flesh, brought together to form an insoluble bond rooted in love, generosity, selflessness and unrelenting forgiveness.” ~ Amen