A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Keeping Our Vows

Posted on: June 6, 2013

wedding vows

Saying vows

In a matter of days, my parents will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary.

Yes, I said 45th.

With my parents’ generation, the divorce rate dramatically increased. So 45 years of marriage is impressive to me, the more so since I’ve been married for just shy of 16½ years.

Mom and Dad have come a long way since that June day in 1968. Literally. They’ve lived in four different provinces and in several different places in Ontario. They’ve raised two kids and more farm animals than my city-girl mother could ever have imagined (or wanted to imagine) and transitioned from the work force to retirement.

My parents have dealt with family squabbles, career changes, and the ups and downs of raising my brother and me. And, naturally, they’ve had to deal with their opposing perspectives on some things—like how to organize their stuff, whether to live in the city or the country, and whether to order more chicks from the co-op in the spring. (Yes, really.)

I love to read notices in the paper for couples who have been married as long as Mom and Dad or longer. Too often, we hear about yet another celebrity marriage standing on shaky ground or ending in divorce or about people who speak of marriage as though it’s no more than a piece of paper. I’m thankful Mom and Dad have shown me that being married means you weather the tough times together.

I’m also thankful that the Catholic Church supports marriage. We’re blessed to have Pre-Cana classes to help us prepare for marriage, the Catechism to help guide us in marriage, and Marriage Encounter weekends to strengthen our marriage. We celebrate milestone anniversaries with a special diocesan Mass. And Scripture readings remind us of couples who faced challenges but stayed strong, like Sarah and Abraham (see Genesis 11-22), Hannah and Elkanah (see 1 Samuel 1-2), Elizabeth and Zechariah (see Luke 1), and Mary and Joseph (see Matthew 1-2).

wedding rings

Wedding rings

As Jesus reminds us, marriage is a gift from God:

“‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”

(Mark 10:7-9, Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition)

May those of us who are married work to keep our marriage strong, and may those of us who are called to marriage pray that God would lead us to the partner he has chosen for us.

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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