Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Chartres 2018: Meditations (4)

Saint Joesph, Virginal Husband


Dear members of the chapter!

Christ has come to renew all things. This is true also for the marriage. The union of Christ and the Church becomes the model of the spouses in marriage. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the Church.”

And a good example “embodies” a good discourse. Saint Joseph and Our Lady are a “pilot couple”! They are unique because their marriage is virginal. Let’s go now to discover this unique and radiant “pilot couple!”

Major ideas
  • Abstinence from the carnal gift; why and how?
  • Virginity, as a choice to belong to God alone.


To be a virgin by refraining from the carnal gift

Saint Joseph and Our Lady, engaged at the same time in marriage and virginity. It is a fact of faith. But on consideration, it’s not easy, it seems difficult... Is it possible? Yes, because what makes marriage is the desire to belong to one another; the consent. So...

• Marriage is primarily an affair of the soul. Marriage is a fully human reality, neither angelic (purely spiritual) nor animal (purely bodily). There is a necessary education of the body. It is chastity that puts the body at the service of the communion of people. It avoids division and disunity in the name of selfish sexual pleasure. See the importance, in and out of the marriage, of a look, of a word (what I say, how I say it), of a smile, of a hand that surrenders, of a service rendered...

Chastity before marriage (betrothal) prepares the union of souls and hearts, therefore, a solid marriage. Why abstain from sex before marriage? Because it is an obstacle to the communion of people. Otherwise, what mutual knowledge, what free communication is it possible? On the contrary, this expectation of prudence and prayer, of mutual aid helps the betrothed.

Successful marriage will include continence (not giving oneself bodily); at least for certain periods of time and for a good reason. Opportunities are multiple; the illness of one spouse, the spacing of births, the desire of both to devote more time to prayer, a period of geographical celibacy (for professional reasons, etc.). Prayer, the sacraments (penance, Eucharist), and mortification will then be necessary for the control of the body and desires. And their love will not only not weaken, but will be strengthened in those times. Yes, this renunciation, like all true, free, fully accepted and lived renunciation, is fruitful. We renounce the conjugal act, we do not renounce conjugal love.

Virginity as a desire to belong only to God

Marriage is not limited to physical union, but it is the union of mind and heart that comes first. Is that all? No, Joseph and Mary still teach us what the will to belong to God is. They reveal to us the desire for intimacy with the Lord.

In a very loving and united, strong home, a wife acknowledged: One of the first things we learned was not to expect from your spouse what God alone can give.They understood an important thing! One thing that illusion or excessive passion sometimes makes you forget...
The mutual love of Mary and Joseph is an extension of the fire of charity towards God that devours them. So within marriage, Christians can hear this call to a more ardent inner life. This second conversion is the secret of holy spouses; Louis and Zélie Martin (and many others with them) led a holy life in the world.

There are homes in which love is sick... their union is in tatters... Invoke Mary or Joseph. And they will say to Jesus, as at Cana: "They have no more wine, they have exhausted their provision of love.Sometimes the danger is in the very heart of the couple. The remedy is to rediscover this Christian art: to live well and to be sanctified in marriage.

What helps that? A little human science (psychology, physiology) does no harm... But that is not enough without the light and the superior strength of this “pilot couple,” Joseph and Mary.

Their virginal marriage inspires the desire for a relationship of souls, a forgetfulness of self and a perfect gift to God, lived in the couple and the family. This is the secret of a fertile and solid Christian marriage! Finally, Mary and Joseph deserved to become the parents of the Child-God. Christian couples give birth to children whom God makes His children by the grace of baptism, in order to make them like Him in heaven.

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