From #52: Promising love for ever is possible when we perceive a plan bigger than our own ideas and undertakings, a plan which sustains us and enables us to surrender our future entirely to the one we love.We've kind of messed up as a society in our views of marriage. On one hand, we take it so seriously that a lot of young people are scared to take the plunge. They think it's safer and less complicated to just live with someone without getting married. On the other hand, we've lost any sense of permanency. We talk about trial marriages. It's not so much until death do us part, but until we can't stand each other anymore.
It takes a lot of courage to get married. It's not something to do half-heartedly or without thoughtful consideration. In getting married, you are not only changing your own life, but that of another human being. A person that you'll get to spend the rest of your life getting to know and love.
But there is a bit of recklessness involved to. It is called "taking the plunge." After all the thought and prayer, you eventually have to do it. Courage doesn't mean not feeling fear, it's not letting that fear control you. One antonym of fear is faith.
To get married, you have to have faith in a bigger picture. This bigger picture might not be exactly what you think you want. But we have to believe that this bigger picture is what is best, that the Person in charge of the bigger picture only wants the best for us. Marriage is never easy. It will require sacrifice. It will require change.
But all of that sacrifice and change is making you into a better, holier person. The main job of a spouse is to make sure their beloved makes it to heaven. That's one heck of a responsibility and one heck of a reward.
This is part of a series of reflections on quotes from Pope Francis' first encyclical. To read more, visit here.