I am trying to write this from an airplane as I travel out west for my annual ski trip and I can’t believe how small this seat is. Having lost substantial weight this year with my ski trip in mind, I sit here with my knees wedged against the seat in front of me. Every time I travel on a plane like this I think, “never again, I’m driving everywhere.” But every year I cram into a plane and come skiing- because I love skiing. I leave VA, cling to my laptop on a plane, all for the joy of skiing!
And crammed into this seat, I am thinking of our March 9 Marriage Conference. In Genesis, we hear why man “leaves his mother and father, clings to his wife, and the two become one flesh.” (See what I did there at the end of previous paragraph?) Straight forward marriage stuff right? This is at the heart of the vocation of most of the members of our parish, whereby you share in the love of God for his creation and most especially his bride the Church!
Leave, Cling, One.
Leaving: what do we give up for the things we love? Yes, in marriage you have to leave your family to make a new one. This is about healthy detachment. Every time there is a disagreement with your spouse, you can’t call your mom and complain! Yes, there is healthy support, but there is also unhealthy undermining when we can belittle our spouse in an effort to win the conflict. Can you even leave behind your past and the past of your spouse?
Cling: how firmly do we hold on to and pursue the good of our spouse? Not a selfish ‘make me happy,’ but a selfless pursuit of the good of your beloved. I love to see how much ‘in love’ couples treasure their time together and prioritize it, how much they cling to each other in they cling without crushing and suffocating.
One: union. Two become one. There is vulnerability without shame. Physical, emotional, spiritual, even life dreams. Your spouse isn’t for your wish fulfillment but that you can find the intimacy that you are made for. The means of this union are found in serving one another, or in the words of the old marriage exhortation, “the sacrifice required to achieve this union is often difficult and irksome.”
Leave, Cling, One. If I am going to ski majestic mountains, this uncomfortable flight is the price I must pay.If you want to be truly happy, become what you are in marriage.
And maybe, come to our Marriage Conference on March 9th.
The taller the mountains, the more majestic the views, but the deeper and darker the valleys. Be not afraid.
Pax Et Bonum,
Father John Mosimann