Friday, October 05, 2012

The wedding feast.



Go out into the byroads and hedgerows and invite anyone you come upon...

For the past few nights I've been dreaming about getting married - not at this time in my life of course - but years ago.  I was going to get married - twice - but I couldn't.  I was terrified and repelled by the very idea of it, and broke off the engagement soon after each proposal.  I know all the reasons why - yet I thought marriage would 'cure' me.  That's not the right intention of course, so the marriage would have been null and void to begin with.  That said, I'm not sure why I've been dreaming about it now.  As I state in my profile on Blogger, I can't be married anyway.  And I don't want to be.

I kept thinking about the dream however, and it reminded me of Christ's teaching on celibacy - to be more accurate - on eunuchs.  Hence I re-considered the teaching on celibacy in terms of a disability.  Of course celibacy chosen for the kingdom isn't a disability in the classic sense, nevertheless, a normal human function is deliberately disabled in professing it.  Therefore, what if Christ said, "Some men are disabled from birth; some have been disable by men, and some have freely renounced sex for the sake of God's reign."  For me the key word here is disabled - some people may be sexually disabled just as some people have been physically disabled - either at birth, through some illness or accident, or deliberately so by man, and so on.  The disabled are not barred from the kingdom of God, the Church.  Even though the disability remains as a thorn in the flesh, or bars them from this or that vocation, they are called to sanctity.

Once I wrote that Christ didn't heal everyone who came to him, but a reader corrected me and said that he pretty much did - there is no account in the Gospel that he sent anyone away.  This morning I read something from Monsignor Luigi Giussani which is much closer to what I originally was attempting to say:  "Christ came for this; indeed he did not heal everybody, he did not straighten things out for everybody.  The task Christ gave to us is to proclaim his name, not to fix all heads, all the arms, to make everybody well educated..."  That's it!

That's what I meant and what I have been trying to say for a long time.  Some people are disabled, crippled for life as it were, and they aren't always cured.  In fact, it may be better if they go into eternal life this way than be led astray by versions of what I call the Prosperity Gospel mentality that insists everyone must be cured or is cursed.  The disabled exist, they have always lived amongst us, they do not simply survive - they thrive in their conformity to the rejected, wounded Christ.  They need not be identified or defined by their disability, but by their identity with Christ.  Christ invites the lame, the crippled, the lame and the blind - he wants his Church to be filled.

This is not to say he cannot or will not heal - he does: "Stand up and go your way; your faith has been your salvation."  And like Christ, you may have the wounds to prove it.

Art: Beggars and cripples, 18th century engraver

13 comments:

  1. According to CG Jung's interpretation of archetypal images and what they represent in our dreams: marriage is A blending of intellectual and intuitive parts... aspects of oneself. A bridge between the conscious mind and the unconscious self

    I have always believed that dreams were our minds way of working out and understanding what went on or what is going on with us. My two cents worth for what its worth

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    1. That is interesting. I wonder what I'm resisting or afraid of then? On one handI understand the dream in the way I described or hinted at in the post - but I'm also intrigued with the Jungian interpretation. I agree with you on the purpose of dreams, btw - this one is recurring.

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    2. I never remember my dreams, and when I do, it's just a mash-up of a bunch of crap. I thin they are usually our mind playing with the bits and pieces of the day, even fleeting thoughts.

      However, there maybe something deeper about recurring dreams, or at least recurring themes in them.

      Of course, I wouldn't know, since I almost always forget the details. Often, however, I find myself sinning in my dreams and think about how I have to go to confession now, only to wake up and find it never happened!

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    3. I never remember my dreams, and when I do, it's just a mash-up of a bunch of crap. I thin they are usually our mind playing with the bits and pieces of the day, even fleeting thoughts.

      However, there maybe something deeper about recurring dreams, or at least recurring themes in them.

      Of course, I wouldn't know, since I almost always forget the details. Often, however, I find myself sinning in my dreams and think about how I have to go to confession now, only to wake up and find it never happened!

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    4. I think dreams are for the most part the crap that has accumulated over the course of the day, with the brain playing with it.

      However, recurring dreams, or themes in them, may mean something.

      I usually forget my dreams, if I dream at all - sometimes I dream that I do something sinful, usually a chastity thing, and feel I have fallen and now have to go to confession. When that happens, it takes me a few minutes after I wake up to realize it never happened!

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    5. Terry,
      Jung concurs with what Mercury says, Most dreams are just a mishmash of the days memories that are sorted and processed while the ego is at rest.

      What Jung says about recurring dreams demand the dreamers attention, your subconscious is bringing to your attention something that you are neglecting.

      I don't think that means so much as your subconscious is saying that you have neglected to get married per se, but rather you are neglecting that which marriage signifies to you.

      You said somewhere that twice you thought to marry, and you thought that marriage might "cure" you, and then you admitted that that was the wrong reason to marry, so you called off the weddings. Like Saint Alexis you can't be married, or so you say, but do you want to be married?

      And if you want to be married why? and what would that mean if you could be married??

      Anyway this comment is waaay to long, so I will close with a God bless you.

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    6. I agree with mercury as well - recurring dreams happen on occasion with me and it is something I need to resolve. I like your insights Puff - but this particular series is about something deeper than I can say and I have accepted the lesson.

      And no - I would never want to be married to another - except for spiritual marriage - union with God. I'm with St. Alexis on the marriage thing, and even more so with St. Paul.

      At times I've experienced a certain nostalgia about it all - but the very idea of marriage is stifling for me. It is the same notion I have of religious life. None of it is for me.

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  2. Do you think marriage is a true vocation?

    Sometimes, I get the sense from the way vocations are spoken of in the Church (like, prayers for an increase in vocations) that marriage is like a default state in life rather than a vocation.

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    1. I'm glad you asked. I think it is a state in life - and that it is the norm. Likewise I think single life is a state in life and not a vocation in itself. People try to argue the vocation thing and feel left out if they decide to get married - as if they are less than. I like your point about praying for vocations - which goes to show that a vocation is a special call. Marriage is ordinary life and people should be content with that description - the Holy Family sanctified ordinary life.

      I suppose one could argue these points forever.

      I have a friend who considers her married life a vocation although worries it isn't as holy as a religious vocation. I think that is nuts. I also read a blogger who wrote at great length how married life is a vocation and single life is not. People pretend a lot, don't they.

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  3. As time has gone on, I've found myself getting more and more tired with debates and lectures and theories and 'intellectuals', and those 'intellectual' tendencies within me. I think a lot of it is pride.

    I think paying attention to God - or trying to - is what is important, and I think the sole hope of knowing His will for one's life (single, married, consecrated) is prayer and trying to allow for that singular relationship between the individual and God.

    I saw your point on the other post about those "endlessly trying to figure out what God wanted them to do" and I agree that there can be a way of 'discerning' that is really just based in fear or pride, but I wouldn't agree that it is wrong to seek the Lord's will for one's life - personally speaking. I think God does relate to us in such a way and does want us to pursue Him so singularly and personally.

    That at least is what moves my heart lately and it has for some time. Worrying about states in life and all is vain. I read about God giving St. Faustina the oranges when she worried she should be doing more penance. It pleased God to give her that gift and the fight she had was with her own willfulness, good as her intentions may have been to do penance.

    God wants our obedience and intimacy, I believe. And it takes a radical sense of listening to and waiting on Him in order to be able to even offer Him such obedience.

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    1. Seeking God's will is necessary - I suppose some people may have a vocation to spend their life in discernment. I know people in their 50's who still think they have a religious vocation but can't find the right community.

      I've been speaking out of turn lately. :)

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  4. I was catechized that therewere threevocations religious, married, and single life, A vocation was defined as living the life and doing the "job" God calls one to do. For some that is religious life, others marriage and others living the single life.

    We can't all be religious, or the church would die. Those of us who are called to be married and be parents have a vocation too. We are called by God to raise children in the faith and love the world in our spouses and children.

    Priests and nuns are called to increase the church through evangelizaton and love the world.

    Single life, as a chosen state not a default state) can be a vocaton if it lived serving God and bringing people to God.



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    1. You were catechized correctly. However, priesthood is a separate vocation from consecrated religious life and it is a higher 'calling'. Each category is a state in life of course, so each category can be given the name of a vocation.

      That said, the original vocation is described in the catechism:

      2331 "God is love and in himself he lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in his own image . . .. God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion."115

      "God created man in his own image . . . male and female he created them";116 He blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and multiply";117 "When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created."118

      We are all called to sanctity at baptism - just as we are all called to chastity according to our state in life.


      I'm called to be single. Someone else is called to be married. Some are called to be married but their spouse leaves them - so they are a married single. Hair-splitting definitions of vocation do not interest me.

      That said, to find out more about all the categories of vocation, check out this from the catechism:

      Vocation
      of Abraham, 762
      to chastity, 2337-59
      of children must be respected and fostered, 1656, 2226, 2232
      to the Christian apostolate, 863
      of Christians must be fulfilled in the Church, 2030
      to communion with God, 27, 44
      communitarian character of the human, 1878-85
      to cooperation with God in creation, 307
      to divine beatitude, 1700, 1703, 1716-24
      to divine worship and to the service of the Church, 1121
      to enter the Kingdom, 543
      to establish the new People of God, 804, 831
      to eternal life, 1998, 2820
      evangelical counsels and personal, 1974
      holiness and the Gospel as vocation of all the disciples of Christ, 1533, 1962
      of humanity, 1877
      Israel's vocation perfectly fulfilled by Jesus, 539
      of the laity, 898-900, 2442
      to life in the Holy Spirit, 1699
      to love, 1604, 2331, 2392
      man is called to union with Christ, 521, 542
      of a man and a woman in God's plan, 373
      to manifest God, 2085
      man's vocation
      final, 1260
      fulfilled by life in the Holy Spirit, 1699
      fulfilled with society's help, 1886
      revealed by Christ, 1701
      to marriage, 1603-04, 1607, 2331
      Mary's, 490
      men are called to resemblance of the union and fraternity of the divine Persons, 1878
      of men that they may become adopted children of God, 1
      to parenthood, 2369
      priestly, 1583
      priestly vocation of the People of God, 784
      to seek God, 30
      society should permit each of its members to fulfill his, 1907, 2461

      Found here:

      http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/index/v.htm

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