Fidelity challenges us in a particular way today because its difficulty has come to be associated with it being something unnecessary or unnatural. In fact, love draws us into a kind of commitment. God Himself shows that this commitment is fully intended on His side and generally lacking on ours. Infidelity begins when our will commits to someone else from that place within our hearts that is reserved for one alone. The vow of chastity is not just the withholding of one’s body from the marital act: it is the consecration of all the affections of the heart to God. This doesn’t produce people who are frigid, but, for those who “can accept it,” they become by their devotion tangible sparks and flames manifesting the kingdom already present now. All are loved, not for themselves, but because God is loved above all.
Today we celebrate venerable Bede, one of our most prolific ancient commentators of Sacred Scripture. His reflections have inspired Christians for centuries.
Christ certainly does not leave any ambiguous points about divorce. The tradition of the Catholic church also does not give any indication that divorce is an acceptable solution to a sour marriage. Marriage has been weakened in modern times because of the general lack of spiritual formation – people don’t have a very deep sense of the meaning of human existence. Many people have found themselves caught in a situation where the decisions they have made in a state of immaturity or imprudence have set their lives on a course they would like to somehow alter for the sake of the possibility of happiness. In general, we have lost faith in the fact that happiness is not for this life but for eternal life. The idea that marriage is what is supposed to finally make us happy feeds the illusion and expectation that there is some way of life here on earth that we should not gladly trade for eternal life. There are many goods that a marriage between virtuous people affords, and great experiences of mercy and forgiveness between Christian spouses – the human experience of marriage is only for this earth however, there is no marriage in heaven.