The Commitment Crisisgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
Connecting the modern lack of commitment in marriages to the vocations crisis, Rev. John A. Hardon writes in "Vocations and the Commitment Crisis" that promoting commitment is key. Below is an excerpt from his essay.
Chesterton once wrote an essay on "A Defense of Rash Vows " that beautifully describes the modern situation. He explains how modern rejection of vows has tragically affected the historic commitment set down by Christ for the sacrament of marriage. The quotation from Chesterton is long but worth giving -- and remembering: "The revolt against vows has been earned in our day even to the extent of a revolt against the typical vow of marriage. It is most amusing to listen to the opponents of marriage on this subject. They appear to imagine that the ideal of constancy was a yoke mysteriously imposed on mankind by the devil, instead of being, as it is, a yoke consistently imposed by all lovers on themselves They have invented a phrase, a phrase that is a black and white contradiction in two words -- 'free love' -- as if a lover ever had been, or ever could be, free. It is the nature of love to bind oneself, and the institution of marriage merely paid the average man the compliment of taking him at his word. Modern sages offer to the lover, with an ill-favored grin, the largest liberties and the fullest irresponsibility; but they do not respect him as the old Church respected him; they do not write his oath upon the heavens, as the record of his highest moment. They give him every liberty except the liberty to sell his liberty, which is the only one that he wants."
Until we rediscover the true meaning of love, which gives itself -- sells itself, if you will -- to the one it claims to love, we shall continue trying to promote vocations. But the real need, is to promote commitment. Priests and religious, no less than married people, must be taught and trained in the true meaning of love.
All I can say to that is "Amen."
-- Emily (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 18, 2004
-- (email@example.com), May 18, 2004.
Commitment is tough, especially when times are tough. But it also tends to build character.
-- Bill Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 18, 2004.
Wow, Chesterton always had a way of hitting the nail on the head.
The real definition of love and freedom doesn't get promoted much these days. This seems to be a major problem of our times. In fact, my guess is that it has always been a problem. Thanks for sharing that quote Emily!
-- Andy S ("email@example.com"), May 19, 2004.