Sunday, February 14, 2016

Shared Essays: Christian Marriage

Sometimes coincidences are purely interesting. I recently attended a wedding and the bride and groom prepared some essays for their guests about why they were doing a Christian Marriage. I meant to share this earlier last week but lost access to my computer and only just received permission from the bride to share it. As a result, I'm posting this on Valentine's Day which is a Christian feast day but also famous for showing love to one another. Hope you enjoy the interesting insights this married couple wrote their their guests.

With Love,
N. D. Moharo

Why the Crucifix?
You may notice after entering the church there is a crucifix, an image of Jesus when he died. Why do we prominently display this image, which should seem to appear to be the worst thing to happen? This is because God is an interesting Director and used this event to show how much He loves us. By recalling the death and passion of our Lord, we remember how he took flesh and suffered one of the most painful deaths to show that even though we treat Him unjustly, desert Him, and even insult Him and speak words of hatred, He loves us so greatly that He died for our sins. We pray that this example of Love never leave our minds as there is no better example for Christian Marriage.
There will be times where we make mistakes and hurt each other emotionally, but it takes a strong will to endure the pain, forgive each other, and continue to love each other. We must willfully desire what is good for each other, even at the sacrifice of ourselves. Love is influenced by the heart, but it is an act of the will. This makes it possible to “Love our Enemies” and to love each other even when it is difficult.

Why Christian Marriage?
We often consider Marriage to be about Love even though the joke is that very few actually still love each other after a few years. Christianity, on the other hand, is and always has been about Love.  It is about true, authentic, and undying love. There is no other religion that can claim the title of Religion of Love.
Consider this chain of logic. God is Good. God is Love. God created Man in His Image.  God called Man very good.  If God is Good and Love, then Man’s perfection and Happiness lies in being Good and to Love. Christianity reveals that God created us out of Love in order to Love. God even became Man to show us that perfect model of Goodness and Love. Therefore, Christianity must be the Religion of Love.
Christianity has not only the perfect example of Love, but it challenges us to strive towards that perfect example. Even if we cannot reach the perfect model, there are many heroes called Saints that show us how we can still love greatly. The first heroes we have are our parents bound through marriage, committing to love each other “Through Good Times and Bad, For Better and Worse.”
In today’s society, it’s hard to maintain that commitment, but by focusing on Christian Models and Ideals, we look ahead with hope. We have adhered to its teachings while we dated, and now we shall work to thrive through them as we live as husband and wife.

Why the Mass?
The Mass consists of two liturgies. The first is where we listen and reflect on the Bible. This is to help us appreciate the Love of God and prepare our minds to participate in the second liturgy. The second is where we participate in the passion of Jesus by receiving Holy Communion and praying.
The Mass is where we see a miracle every time with transformation of Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus. While the physical attributes of Bread and Wine do not change, we believe that God has changed the substance within. This is amazing because it allows God to dwell within us.
In the Bible, Jesus states that those who want to enter heaven must eat His flesh. It’s a strong statement, but reading it carefully, we see that He was serious. But if Jesus is no longer present here on earth, how is this possible?

We believe the Mass to make present the sacrifice of Jesus. We do not believe that we offer up Jesus to die again and again, but that through a divine miracle, we are somehow present at the one sacrifice.  By this, He who created the world, turned a sea into blood and then back again, and turned water into wine, is perfectly capable of changing bread and wine into bodily flesh without changing anything physical. It’s called a Miracle.

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