Is one more important?


#1

So a friend and I always talk about how it seems like the church is always putting emphasis on religious vocations. For example we always pray about an increase to the religious life in the intentions at mass. But I don't really notice us praying for holy marriages. Like I think marriages are just as important. So many marriages fall apart these days, even Catholic marriages. In my opinion I think marriage is just as important as religious life, but why is there less emphasis on it? Maybe it's just me, but sometimes I feel like people thing the only way to live a holy life is through religious life, and I want to be as holy as can be but I don't want to join :( What if God is calling me to that? I would be happy about it right? But yeah my main question is do any of you think marriage isn't cared enough about in the church?


#2

[quote="mandy2, post:1, topic:334108"]
So a friend and I always talk about how it seems like the church is always putting emphasis on religious vocations. For example we always pray about an increase to the religious life in the intentions at mass. But I don't really notice us praying for holy marriages. Like I think marriages are just as important. So many marriages fall apart these days, even Catholic marriages. In my opinion I think marriage is just as important as religious life, but why is there less emphasis on it? Maybe it's just me, but sometimes I feel like people thing the only way to live a holy life is through religious life, and I want to be as holy as can be but I don't want to join :( What if God is calling me to that? I would be happy about it right? But yeah my main question is do any of you think marriage isn't cared enough about in the church?

[/quote]

I would say that marriage and religious vocation are seen as equal, because there are bad marriages, but there are also bad religious (not living up to expectations) that you don't hear much direct prayer about. I think the prayer for the increase in the religious life is because compared to marriage, there is a significant lack of people looking to enter the priesthood or a religious order. That isn't to say the Church doesn't care about the "bad" ones (marriages or religious), but just that it is more in need of those dedicated to the functions of the Church ministry than marriages. And I think bad marriages is not so much the Church's problem (as an organization) and more of a social catechesis problem (parents not catechizing their children well). The Church does its part, but it is also the part of the parents to raise their children as well formed Catholics. People should know the Church's stance on things, but not many follow through with it. So rather than just single out the bad marriages, I think the prayer needs to be focused on both better catechesis and more religious.

I think with better catechesis comes more religious, and more religious comes better catechesis to the parents, and the better catechized parents are then able to better catechize their children. It's a cycle that needs to be kick-started somewhere, and IMO, it needs to be started with better catechized lay people who will then hold their priests accountable and then that will weed out the bad priests and bishops.


#3

I think there is reason to pray for both. However, I think we hear more about religious vocation because they have become so rare and are in desperate need.


#4

I've witnessed and participated in prayers for marriage at Mass, and also by priests on EWTN. There may be more prayers for vocations than marriage, but there really doesn't seem to be a shortage of marriages does there?


#5

The Church teaches that religious life is a higher calling than marriage. See, for example, Pope Pius XII, Sacra Virginitas, 32:

The excellence of virginity and of celibacy and of their superiority over the married state was, as we have already said, revealed by our Divine Redeemer and by the Apostle of the Gentiles; so too, it was solemnly defined as a dogma of divine faith by the holy council of Trent, and explained in the same way by all the holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church.

Bl. John Paul II writes in Vita Consecrata, 32:

As a way of showing forth the Church's holiness, it is to be recognized that the consecrated life, which mirrors Christ's own way of life, has an objective superiority. Precisely for this reason, it is an especially rich manifestation of Gospel values and a more complete expression of the Church's purpose, which is the sanctification of humanity. The consecrated life proclaims and in a certain way anticipates the future age, when the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven, already present in its first fruits and in mystery,[62] will be achieved and when the children of the resurrection will take neither wife nor husband, but will be like the angels of God (cf. Mt. 22:30).

This doesn't mean marriage is bad, or that everyone should become a religious. But it does mean it's against Church teaching to say they are equal.


#6

[quote="mandy2, post:1, topic:334108"]
So a friend and I always talk about how it seems like the church is always putting emphasis on religious vocations. For example we always pray about an increase to the religious life in the intentions at mass. But I don't really notice us praying for holy marriages. Like I think marriages are just as important. So many marriages fall apart these days, even Catholic marriages. In my opinion I think marriage is just as important as religious life, but why is there less emphasis on it? Maybe it's just me, but sometimes I feel like people thing the only way to live a holy life is through religious life, and I want to be as holy as can be but I don't want to join :( What if God is calling me to that? I would be happy about it right? But yeah my main question is do any of you think marriage isn't cared enough about in the church?

[/quote]

I think that the Church is one of the few voices left in the world that is caring about marriage. Not a lot of people listen, though. At least, not enough.

I don't think the prayer intentions at Mass are necessarily indicative of a trend. In any case, I've been to plenty of parishes who do pray for both an increase in vocations and for marriage.

I can't remember where I heard this, but it struck me as quite true, but there is no way to increase vocations without first promoting healthy marriages. Healthy marriages are what produce the children who will be open to a religious vocation. The vocation crisis is not disconnected from the marriage crisis.

Do some priests (or bishops or lay people) in some places spend more time talking about religious vocations than about marriage? Maybe. But I think -- overall -- the Church is working on both of them. And of course the laity play a very important part in getting the message out -- particularly about marriage. Priests and nuns cannot model what a healthy marriage looks like. It is the laity who must do that.


#7

[quote="bsroufek, post:4, topic:334108"]
I've witnessed and participated in prayers for marriage at Mass, and also by priests on EWTN. There may be more prayers for vocations than marriage, but there really doesn't seem to be a shortage of marriages does there?

[/quote]

The number of marriages in the Church has dropped to something like 25% of what it was in 1972. Part of that is that people are getting married later, but many are either not getting married and just living together or are marrying outside of the Church (often w/o a dispensation). Look at divorce statistics and annulment rate changes over the past 40 years and you will see why Archbishop Chaput once said the biggest vocation crisis is marriage.


#8

[quote="Ad_Orientem, post:5, topic:334108"]
The Church teaches that religious life is a higher calling than marriage. See, for example, Pope Pius XII, Sacra Virginitas, 32:

...]

Bl. John Paul II writes in Vita Consecrata, 32:

...]

This doesn't mean marriage is bad, or that everyone should become a religious. But it does mean it's against Church teaching to say they are equal.

[/quote]

The Council of Trent (1545-1563) also has declared celibacy and virginity as higher callings than matrimony in the 24th session, canon X:

CANON X.-If any one saith, that the marriage state is to be placed above the state of virginity, or of celibacy, and that it is not better and more blessed to remain in virginity, or in celibacy, than to be united in matrimony; let him be anathema.


#9

[quote="Ad_Orientem, post:5, topic:334108"]
The Church teaches that religious life is a higher calling than marriage. See, for example, Pope Pius XII, Sacra Virginitas, 32:

The excellence of virginity and of celibacy and of their superiority over the married state was, as we have already said, revealed by our Divine Redeemer and by the Apostle of the Gentiles; so too, it was solemnly defined as a dogma of divine faith by the holy council of Trent, and explained in the same way by all the holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church.

Bl. John Paul II writes in Vita Consecrata, 32:

As a way of showing forth the Church's holiness, it is to be recognized that the consecrated life, which mirrors Christ's own way of life, has an objective superiority. Precisely for this reason, it is an especially rich manifestation of Gospel values and a more complete expression of the Church's purpose, which is the sanctification of humanity. The consecrated life proclaims and in a certain way anticipates the future age, when the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven, already present in its first fruits and in mystery,[62] will be achieved and when the children of the resurrection will take neither wife nor husband, but will be like the angels of God (cf. Mt. 22:30).

This doesn't mean marriage is bad, or that everyone should become a religious. But it does mean it's against Church teaching to say they are equal.

[/quote]

But then again in the bible when God created man He said "its is not good for man to be alone". He created us to be man and woman...


#10

[quote="Usige, post:7, topic:334108"]
The number of marriages in the Church has dropped to something like 25% of what it was in 1972. Part of that is that people are getting married later, but many are either not getting married and just living together or are marrying outside of the Church (often w/o a dispensation). Look at divorce statistics and annulment rate changes over the past 40 years and you will see why Archbishop Chaput once said the biggest vocation crisis is marriage.

[/quote]

I don't mean we should be praying for an increase of marriage, more of praying for holier marriages


#11

[quote="mandy2, post:9, topic:334108"]
But then again in the bible when God created man He said "its is not good for man to be alone". He created us to be man and woman...

[/quote]

"That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body"
Genesis 2:24


#12

[quote="mandy2, post:10, topic:334108"]
I don't mean we should be praying for an increase of marriage, more of praying for holier marriages

[/quote]

I realize that. The problem is that many do not see marriage as a Vocation we are called to but rather something we decided to do. I was simply trying to point out that the statistics show that many no longer consider marriage as a Vocation made holy by its sacremental nature. Holy orders, matrimony and religious life are all ways we are called to proclaim the gospels through the way we live our lives.


#13

[quote="mandy2, post:10, topic:334108"]
I don't mean we should be praying for an increase of marriage, more of praying for holier marriages

[/quote]

Well, married people tend to pray - for their own marriages and marriage in general. But I would think they tend to in general be less mindful of praying for priestly and religious vocations without that gentle reminder during the intercessions in Mass.


#14

[quote="Joe_5859, post:6, topic:334108"]
I can't remember where I heard this, but it struck me as quite true, but there is no way to increase vocations without first promoting healthy marriages. Healthy marriages are what produce the children who will be open to a religious vocation. The vocation crisis is not disconnected from the marriage crisis.

[/quote]

This is true, but we need priests NOW. Holy marriages will give us holy priests in 30 years or so, but that long of a wait for a resolution to the priest shortage would be disastrous.


#15

[quote="m134e5, post:14, topic:334108"]
This is true, but we need priests NOW. Holy marriages will give us holy priests in 30 years or so, but that long of a wait for a resolution to the priest shortage would be disastrous.

[/quote]

Fair enough.


#16

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