“I Promise”: The Vocation And Sacrament Of Marriage

“Since God created man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves [all people]. It is good, very good, in the Creator’s eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation.” Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1604

Marriage is a vocation in and for the world. Meet Vanessa, Michael and Liam Nicholas-Schmidt:

“I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love and honour you all the days of my life.”

While preparing for marriage, our priest told us “memorize your vows now and practice saying them to each other as part of your engagement discernment. They are, after all, not only the words you will vow on your wedding day, they are the commitments you are making to each other for life.” It was wonderful to be able to declare our vows to each other in front of friends and family, on our wedding day. However, it is as we live out our vocation of marriage that the challenges and grace of these words come to life.

Through our vocational call to marriage, we have been called to engage the world through our partnership. Our vow to love and honour each other, to be true to each other, forms the foundation through which we pour out that love onto the world. There are many ways we strive to do this including supporting each other in our professions, serving the community, and being kind to our neighbours. And recently we have entered another part of living this call to love: parenthood.

We have never been so tired! And yet, through the birth of our son we have experienced amazing love. It can be challenging to “love and honour” each other when we are exhausted. And yet, there seems to be a grace present in our vows: a grace that helps us to be loving even when we are overwhelmed and a grace that allows room for forgiveness when we “do meltdown”. For us, parenthood was our first experience of love at first sight – if we can love our son this much, how much more must God’s love be for us.”

The vocation to marriage is a call and gift of God to a life of holiness and of service in the world within the loving relationship shared by the couple and in their family. From that centre of the heart a couple is called to follow Jesus in a particular way and it invites and challenges them to live out their life together in ways that express God’s love and truth in the world. (Click “Clouds of Witnesses” – A world of witnesses to Love)