While I haven't had time to write a full post on the marriage retreat the wife and I went on in late January, I do have some Pascal-like "Penses" for you to mull over:
* At the wedding of Cana, Jesus shows marriage to be blessed by attending and performing his first miracle there. Marriage is a part of the kingdom and it is the means of our salvation.
* Marriage is a "blessed cross". We are held accountable for how we handle the grace we receive in our marriage.
* The home is a "little Church" (St. John Chrysostom). It is possible to lift up a portion of society when we fulfill our calling as husband and wife.
* Jesus loved and obeyed his Father, he emptied himself and he loved the whole world. This 3 part action is also the way of life of a married person. By loving/respecting our spouse, by emptying ourselves of all pride and self-love and by "using our abundance for those in need" (as the Marriage service says) we imitate Jesus.
* Marriage and monasticism are two sides of the same coin. Everyone who enters the monastic life will tell you they did it "to save their souls." How many of us can say the same reason motivated us to get married? Do we see our marriages as the primary means by which our souls will be saved?
* The word "spouse" in Greek means, literally, "co-yoked." Would we yoke together oxen who wanted to move in opposite directions? In marriage, we must be united spiritually.
* Headship in marriage relates to function rather than value. Jesus did not regard equality something to be grasped but emptied himself....so also in marriage neither spouse should seek equality with one another but should seek to be the servant of all.