The Mangling of Marriage in America

Consider for a moment how the popular understanding of marriage has been revolutionized since the 1960s. The best way to do this is to imagine the choices a young Catholic man had when pondering his future fifty years ago.

Let’s say Jimmy was brought up in an Italian American community in Philadelphia in the early sixties, and let’s imagine that he is thinking about becoming a priest. One of the things he has to weigh up is celibacy, so he looks around at the men he knows: husbands and priests.

If he chooses to be a husband he will probably end up working long hours at a dull job to support his wife and a big tribe of kids. Eventually they might be able to move out of the cramped apartment and put a down payment on a little house. Being a husband and father is a good but hard life. If he’s a decent, honest and sincere Catholic he knows that his priorities are his faith, his family and his friends. Without knowing it he has accepted that his life is to be one of service and self-sacrifice for a greater good. This is not a truth he ponders. It’s simple. It’s life.

The priesthood is also attractive to Jimmy. He’ll get a better education. Maybe he’ll travel to Europe and even study at Rome. When he is ordained he’ll live in a big house with some other guys in a community full of people like his own family. There will be an Italian mamma to keep house and look after him. He has plenty of family and friends close by. Sure, he’s sacrificed having a wife and kids, but just as the married life has its rewards, so the life of a Catholic priest is rewarding and full. He accepts that the priesthood is a life of sacrifice and service for a greater good just like marriage would be.

Now consider Jimmy’s choices fifty years later. The priesthood means living alone in a rectory house struggling to keep a parish open with dwindling congregations and no money. Not only does he live alone, but he knows most people assume that he’s homosexual and a good number of the wider population suspect him of being a pedophile. The life of the priest has little attraction and plenty of drawbacks. It is not only a life of service and self-sacrifice, but it also seems like a long, slow martyrdom.

Then the twenty-first century Jimmy looks at married men and sees guys who have it all. The attractive wife has only had two kids because after the second she was sterilized. She has her own career, so they enjoy a double income. Not only do they have it all, but they got it instantly. They have the nice snug family, the big house in the suburbs and maybe a house at the lake. They go to Mass just like the other good Catholics. They’re happy, healthy, prosperous, and they’re Catholics in good standing. Marriage does not seem to have caused them problems. It has become the solution to all their problems.

This is the true mangling of marriage in America. The difficulty is not that there is widespread cohabitation, promiscuity, same sex unions, divorce and remarriage, serial relationships and polygamy. These are symptoms of a deeper disease. The disease is a sweet seductive cancer that has eaten away at the very idea of marriage. Marriage is no longer perceived as a sacrament of self-sacrifice. It is perceived as a sacrament of self-fulfillment.

Marriage is seen as a flight to Disneyland. It is the yellow brick road on which we skip happily to the eternal Emerald City of happiness. Marriage is the passport to American nirvana of life in the suburbs. Why do so many want to be married? Why do homosexuals want to get married? Why do divorced people want to be married? It is because marriage has become the magic pathway to self-fulfillment: the way to have it all, the ultimate path for the pursuit of happiness.

How is it that marriage was so mangled? The shift in understanding must be traced back to the acceptance of artificial contraception. If sexual intercourse meant babies, then sex also meant self-sacrifice because babies must be cared for. Babies require self-sacrifice and lots of babies mean lots of self-sacrifice. The idea that self-sacrifice was therefore built into the action of sex and the choice of marriage. When the sexual act became no more than mutual self-pleasuring, then marriage became no more than mutual self-pleasuring.

This is why true pastoral concern for young people in love must involve education about the very nature of the sexual act and the marriage covenant. Marriage should take the man and woman to the understanding of love which they find at the foot of Christ’s cross. There love is shown to be self sacrifice and self-sacrifice is shown to be the only way of love. When this fundamental misunderstanding of marriage is corrected we may gradually learn to re-construct marriage and move towards healing the mangled marriages in our society.

The Catholic Church is the only institution which can hope to lead the way forward to a renewed understanding of marriage, for it is only the Catholic faith which holds marriage to be a sacrament and teaches that each sacrament, in its own way, is a participation in the cross of Christ. Only by patient teaching by word and example may couples re-learn that marriage is a sacrament of self-sacrifice and that it is only through this self-sacrifice that they will find true self-fulfillment.

 

Fr. Dwight Longenecker

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Fr Dwight Longenecker’s latest book is The Romance of Religion—Fighting for Goodness, Truth and Beauty. He blogs at Standing on My Head. Visit his blog, browse his books and be in touch at www.dwightlongenecker.com

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  • Frank

    Thank you, Fr. This needs to be heard by every married couple, and every couple contemplating marriage! Oh how I wish this had been so lucidly explained to us when we got married nearly 40 years ago!

  • JMC

    Service and sacrifice… Before the mid-1960s, everyone understood that any path in life involved those things, that life itself meant suffering of some sort, and people accepted that. It was in the 1960s that the hippies decided to teach us the “error” of our ways. Our parents understood the true error behind their thinking, and some of us listened to them. That is why, by 1970, at the age of 16 and never having read, or even heard of, “Humana Vitae,” I understood the dangerous path that so-called “free love” was leading us down. I am not happy to see that my predictions have come true. But I also understand that this is the culmination of Pope St. Leo’s prophecy. He warned that God had given the devil one century to do his worst work, and he chose the twentieth. With that in mind, is it any wonder that technology, progressing only slowly until that time, suddenly started to progress in leaps and bounds? In the 1910s and 20s, we had electricity and radio. By the late 30s and early 40s, television was being developed, though it did not see public use until the mid-1950s. By that time, the government and larger corporations were using computers. By the 1970s, they were in colleges; ten years later, they began to find their way into homes. Compared to the slow march of progress prior to that time, this is lightning speed, and has been truly frightening to many.
    .
    With that progress has come change in social customs. Women threw off the supposed “shackles” of home life and motherhood. Yes, some of that was good, as society came to recognize that not all women were cut out for marriage and motherhood, or for the convent, and that women were capable of more than housekeeping and clerical work. But it also came at the cost of those who chose marriage and motherhood being EXPECTED by society also to have outside jobs, and for those who chose a more traditional path to be ridiculed and marginalized by the rest. That includes those of us who chose to maintain our celibacy within the single life. Did I say ridiculed? In my 20s and 30s, we were actively BULLIED by men who decided we were either gay or stuck up because we wouldn’t “sleep around.” For me, personally, dating was an impossible situation, and I gave it up entirely before I was thirty, deciding that if God wanted me to marry, he would lead me to the right man, and if not, then it wouldn’t happen. I’m sixty and still single…and completely content with that life. He has also gifted me with a very dear friend who shared my views, and we have shared a home for almost thirty years. That has brought us another set of problems, facing a society that insists on seeing sexual relationships where none exist, but we have accepted that as our cross to bear.
    .
    Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres was told truly, in the 16th century, that by the third millennium, there would be almost no virgin souls left in the world. That is true. If you were in a crowded stadium, it is entirely possible that there would not be a single virgin, male or female, of any age above about 13, in that stadium. It is to the point that a few years ago, I overheard a man remark that any woman who wears white to her first wedding is a liar. Deeply offended by that, I contradicted him, and was laughed at by everyone else in the room.
    .
    Contraception has opened the biggest can of worms in history. “Humana Vitae” was truly prophetic. And the worms are still escaping.

  • annaincalifornia

    Im sad because i met a niceCatholic man who told me he loved me, understood what sacrifice was, accepted me, and told me he wanted to marry me. A week later, he changed hia mind and blamed me for not being the right one for him.

    And thats it. No room to grow and change, or understand me. and im stuck thinking its my fault. Im not loveable.

  • Faithr

    He sounds unstable. Don’t let him get you down!

  • James

    Fr.,

    Although I agree with the sacramental aspects of your piece, and the need to inculcate in the young the sacramental aspects of life.

    However I think what you may be seeing in the world close around you, e.g. marriage/suburban/Disneyland, has biased your view of what is motivating marriage to occur. You do nail the contraceptive aspect.

    It is really more simple than you make it. Women, far more than men, want children and family. Men, in non-urban areas, still have a tenuous attachment to the moral principles of family and many find the idea of children and the Disney and lake house image you paint appealing. Truth be told, young women do a pretty good job of marketing that image.

    However, most Christians:

    – do not have a sacramental view of marriage as an obligation to the soul of their wife/husband

    – no longer believe it is all that bad to leave a “bad marriage”, such sin has been reduced to a do-over “my bad”

    and ….

    – men/fathers are no longer essential to the proper and healthy rearing of children – a implicit product of the feminization of culture.

    All of these things have played a foundational role in the mangling of marriage – and I think more so than the “sacramental self-sacrifice” and solution/nirvana things you point to.

    One of the few good things that has come from the immoral destruction of the black family, is the increasing awareness of how important a strong, faithful, and present father is to a child’s development into an adult.

    Your last two paragraphs are spot on.

    As for the images of the priesthood you paint…. Today’s priests are suffering for the sins of those priests who came before and reduced the Faith and priesthood to “social work with a collar” …

    The answer is very, very, very simple. Priests need to return to making the sacramental and formation of the parish in the Faith the priority…. and look all the parishioners in the eye and say YOU are the ones who need to go out and be leaders of the works of Charity and everything else you want to make of the parish that exists outside the sacraments and formation and salvation of souls.

    It’s a bit of the Catholic Church/West’s version of the monk on the mountain….

    But that’s what happens when the world moves from plenty to scarcity… people prioritize and return to “choosing the better parts”.

    Christ did not create the priesthood for priests to become social justice program leaders.

    Once the priesthood puts on the “robes” of Christ (some form of uniformity in dress, it matters, a lot because it tells the world who the priest is) and returns the sacraments and the formation and salvation of souls to the primacy of their works, Christ will take care of the rest.

    Oh yea, one other thing.

    A priest does more for Christ and the lost in one hour of prayer alone in a confessional than a full day of social justice and “ministry” meetings.

    AMDG

  • yan

    I think you’ve really put your finger on something in saying that marriage is viewed as the key to happiness. Remember the Rodney Dangerfield jokes about marriage? People laughed because they knew marriage wasn’t always ideal and jokes like his helped them to take their difficulties in stride. Now any man who would say, ‘take my wife–please!’ would be considered to have said something that showed that his marriage was seriously deficient; that he was probably on his way to divorce in a short time; and that he was probably to blame for marrying so poorly in the first place.

    The Church in its pastoral practice takes this attitude too, I think. There is so much emphasis on finding the ‘right’ person, and ‘preparing’ for marriage, that people think that when marital difficulties come–as they must–that this constitutes evidence that they have made the ‘wrong’ choice. This encourages people to ‘find’ ‘impediments’ that, it can reasonably be inferred, ‘must have’ existed at the time of the marriage.

    I read many years ago in a book by Robert Pattison that the most important political goal in America of the three, ‘life, liberty, and happiness’ was ‘happiness.’ Over the years I have been continually impressed by the perspicacity of this remark. America has changed marriage, I think, largely in the process of pursuing its most fundamental political goal.

  • donttouchme

    Marriage is just as often viewed as a chore and a source of misery today. Look at the pop culture depiction of marriage 50 years ago versus today. What did men have to look forward to back then, a wife like the mom in Lassie or Leave it to Beaver. What do men have to look forward to today. Not quite the same, eh? But the slippery slope and time obscure what marriage used to be. Feminism is still the unspoken dominant force today. Not even Father Longenecker types can criticize it. Look at the paragraphs around 75 in Casti Connubii to learn what wrecked marriage. Paul VI even borrowed a famous line from it.

  • Harry

    Hello, Fr. Longenecker,

    Your analysis is spot on. The points you make need to be made from the pulpit. It is good that they were made here, but many of the Catholics who show up for Mass on Sunday, and most of those who don’t, do not spend a lot of time reading the thoughts of orthodox Catholic pundits, or read the diocesan newspaper, or watch EWTN. For all practical purposes they have the same values as the worldly regarding the social issues and they certainly don’t see any problem with contraception.

    As for those who actually do show up for Mass on Sunday, God has made it easy for the Church: He brings in crowds every Sunday who desperately need to be evangelized and challenged with the points you made. If they were, some would leave and decide to never come back (God has a way of bringing people back who make such decisions. I know that from personal experience.)

    There would be a certain honesty, one that isn’t present in the current situation, in making clear to those who show up for Mass on Sunday that Christianity is inherently counter-cultural and that one has to renounce and abandon many worldly notions and practices in order to live according to the Gospel. Some would leave but the Church would have been honest. Those who left would be living more honestly; they weren’t really living out the faith before, deceiving themselves and others. And it had been dishonest of the Church to allow them to feel perfectly comfortable in their Catholicism all that time when they weren’t really living according to the Gospel.

    In 2012, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto, Cardinal Timothy Dolan made some fascinating remarks regarding contraception. He admitted that the Church has failed in presenting Catholic teaching on contraception to the flock. He said the Church had “forfeited the chance to be a coherent moral voice when it comes to one of the more burning issues of the day. [the HHS Mandate]” He further said, “I’m not afraid to admit that we have an internal catechetical challenge — a towering one — in convincing our own people of the moral beauty and coherence of what we teach … We have gotten gun-shy … in speaking with any amount of cogency on chastity and sexual morality.”

    He was right. But ask around. Get a feel for how many Catholics have heard a sermon that mentioned contraception at Sunday Mass in the last two years. The Church needs to challenge Catholics with the entire Gospel message — including the hard sayings, and accept the temporary loss in membership.

    A smaller, but orthodox, genuinely Catholic Church would be noticed by the world. We would really be a “people set apart.” As it is we can’t be the city on the hill or the lamp on the lamp stand because we dishonestly make comfortable within the Church those who, for all practical purposes, are not genuine Catholics.

  • Sygurd Jonfski

    One thing that bothers me about this concept of Catholic marriage is this: the parents sacrifice themselves for their babies, then their babies sacrifice themselves for their babies, then the babies of the babies sacrifice themselves for their babies and so on, ad infinitum. Why is life then presented as a “gift of God” if it is just a never-ending self-sacrifice and in the name of what? Is it life for life’s sake? Or is it some form of service to God? I can understand the latter but in this case we cannot hold life as intrinsically valuable, can we?

    Perhaps it is worth noting here as well that Christianity has always had an ambivalent approach to life: as a joyful “gift of God” and as a brief and painful sojourn in this “valley of tears”. Both of these perceptions have their own problems, not to mention the fact that they are mutually exclusive.

  • quisutDeusmpc

    Sygurd…..um…..when I read your post I found myself thinking immediately, If we stop to reflect on our personal experience of our parents having offered themselves sacrificially for us, then our primary experience as children is precisely as having received it as “a gift of God”. That is precisely what our parents (ideally) are modeling by their sacrifice. In arcane theological terminology it is called the ‘admirable commercium’ – the admirable commerce. Or if you prefer sound bites: their pain is our gain. Or in biblical parlance, Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. I think you nailed it when you said, [L]ife for life’s sake. That is the principle of the universe, with the Catholic understanding that capital “L” life is a divine Person, the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ.

    “For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that for your sake he became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich.” (cf. II Cor. 8:9). The Catholic Gospel is, as God, Jesus Christ put off the pomp and circumstance of His Divinity and humbled Himself to become Incarnate as a human being, hypostatically uniting to Himself a human nature, He deified, in Himself, humanity, living a life for our sake and our salvation that He might save us from Satan, sin and death, restoring to us the dignity, nobility, and grace that was ours at creation. “Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.” (cf. Phil 2: 5-8).

    Yes, the Church considers marriage and parenting a ‘vocation’, a calling. Life is intrinsically valuable because, like God, we are persons, made in His image and likeness. After humanity’s fall from grace, He redeemed us in Jesus Christ’s Incarnation, Passion, Death, Resurrection from the dead and Ascension into heaven. A couple undertakes the vocation of marriage and the family because they want to “image” the Person of Jesus Christ who desires that we be God’s sons and daughters, God’s family. St. Athanasius put it this way, “God became man, so that man might become gods”. St. Irenaeus said, “The glory of God is man fully alive”. I’m not sure how you understand God, man, and service, but the Church’s Gospel sounds as if its claim is that man is intrinsically valuable.

    Unlike utopian or ideological schemas, Christianity has always understood the tension of humanity having been created in God’s image and likeness, and the reality of the presence of sin and dysfunction in the world as a result of humanity’s fall from grace. Any reasonable person with a modicum of life experience is aware that humans have the capacity for great good (one thinks of the police officers and rescue personnel who sacrificed their lives on 9/11 in NY to save those who were trapped in the buildings) as well as horrific evil (one thinks of Stalin’s purges and Hitler’s Final Solution). What you call an “ambivalent approach” is rather one, in my opinion, that doesn’t wear either ‘rose colored glasses’ on the one hand, or give in to nihilistic cynicism or despair on the other. I suppose if one’s perception is a puerile “either / or” approach to life, rather than the rather exciting and dangerous “both / and” approach, then I could see where you might be living with the unexamined assumption of potentially creating a situation where one is always creating false dichotomies – either joyful or painful; either eternal or brief, etc. The Church encourages us to embrace the rather more robust and wholistic picture of “both / and”: both joyful and painful; both brief and eternal; both gift and sacrifice. In my humble opinion, it is the Church’s “approach to life” that is the more accurate and affirming.

  • Sygurd Jonfski

    Thank you for your very theologically articulate exposition of the Christian view on life. It was a pleasure to read (for its literary value, too) and I am rather surprised to meet someone like you on the Internet. Still, I see this approach as somewhat artificial and divorced from basic experience. Too many mere concepts, perhaps? But that’s my advaitic background speaking. It may be sufficient to say that my favorite book of the Bible is Ecclesiastes and my favorite – jocular – definition of life calls it “a terminal sexually transmitted disease”. Not very Catholic, I agree, that’s why I’m no longer a Catholic. I neither want an “eternal life” (as long as it is a form of consciousness) nor do I see anything “exciting” in the “both/and” approach of which you speak – life’s pleasures are as paltry as life’s pains and the only wise choice is to ignore them both (the prajnaparamita philosophy of Mahayana Buddhism has some very illuminating things to say here.) For the very same reasons I reject – in even stronger terms – contemporary secular ideologies with their crude apotheosis of “fun”. Anyway, thank you again for taking me seriously.

  • quisutDeusmpc

    It seems we are the yin and yang of religious / spiritual life journeys. In the interest of providing an explanation that seems less “somewhat contrived and divorced from basic experience” I grew up in a family that was lapsed Catholic and who left us to choose for ourselves. While taking shotokan karate, and judo I began reading the I Ching, Confucianism, and Zen Buddhism (my introduction was through Alan Watts, but then I started reading Daisetz T. Suzuki). That was in the 1980’s and there weren’t any teachers or schools in my area. I did a foray in New Age theosophy (chakras and crystals and colors and no aluminum cookware and organic food) and western philosophy before realizing that I was intentionally refusing to even consider my family’s tradition. Even then, I didn’t immediately consider the Church, I have always had to do it the hard way, for some reason. So first it was fundamentalist and southern Baptists, then the magisterial Reformed tradition (Reformed Episcopalianism, Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in America, & the Christian Reformed Church in North America) before discovering what is being called ‘evangelical Catholicism’ (e.g. Scott Hahn, Robert Sungenis, David Currie, Steve Ray, George Weigel, Patrick Madrid, Russell Shaw, Carl Anderson, Fr. Ian Kerr, Archbishop Chaput, Cardinal George, Father Robert Barron, Msgr. Luigi Giussani, et al).

    With all due respect to your characterization of the Faith as being “somewhat contrived and divorced from basic experience”, I learned from reading theology historically that what appears to us in the 21st century as offered as pre-packaged and complete, was anything but as it unfolded over time from the time of Christ to the councils of Nicaea and Constantinople, from the challenges of Gnosticism, Arianism, and Nestorianism to the councils of Ephesus and Orange. When compared to the explanations offered by Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age theosophy, and philosophy, I have yet to encounter anything that makes more practical sense of all aspects of the human person and the human experience.

    Your point, however, is well taken, if someone does not share the same presuppositions or faith, their presentation is usually perceived as formulaic and unusual. It seemed to me that some of the jargon employed in your original post suggested that you were somewhat familiar with “catholic-ese” or at least a “christian-ese” but was, at the same time, not wholly convinced. I have been there. It took me a good five years to transition from eastern religions to Protestant Christianity and I spent ten years working my way through the various denominations before I even could consider the catholic Church. It’s interesting how what we grow up with can see formulaic and oppressive and what we intentionally choose seems enlightened and liberating. It reminds me of a quote from G. K. Chesterton, a convert to the catholic Church to the effect that conversion seems like traveling around the world seeking the truth as if traveling in a foreign land, and then arriving home and discovering it as if for the very first time. This is what the catholic Church and Faith seems to me. I experienced the limitations and problems of Confucianism and Zen Buddhism and New Age theosophy, and the various Protestant sects and always ran into some limitation, hypocrisy or inconsistency. It was only in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Faith in the Church that I am finally at rest. There is no more desire, there is nothing lacking, I have experienced some measure of what St. Augustine said when he recollected, “our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee. Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and so new” and what the author of the Canticle of Canticles (or the Song of Songs, if you prefer) meant when he opined, “You have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride”(cf. Song 4:9) and “I am my Beloveds, and my Beloved is mine”(cf. Song 6:3).

  • Xavier

    Mahatma Gandhi:”Birth control is criminal!”

    http://www.salon.com/2013/02/18/mahatma_gandhi_birth_control_is_criminal/

  • Sygurd Jonfski

    To each his own. I find reading the Heart Sutra of much more benefit than the entire Summa Theologica. A flood of wordy concepts versus a laser-like insight into the very core of reality. I don’t think I can say any more on this subject.

  • BXVI

    Even among weekly Mass-goers, support for SSM is evenly split. Among Catholics aged 18-29, support for SSM is over 80%. There is a massive crisis of faith. The people have chosen to re-make God to reflect the spirit fo the age. It’s over. We can’t recover from this by outreach and weloming people no matter what they believe.

  • quisutDeusmpc

    I find reading St. Teresa of Jesus’s “The Way of Perfection” and “Interior Castle” as well as St. John of the Cross’s “Spiritual Canticle” and “Sayings of Light and Love” to be of much more benefit than the Upanishads, the Baghavad Gita, or the Brahma Sutras

  • Sygurd Jonfski

    As I have said, to each his own. Incidentally, I always liked the Spanish mystics, especially the two mentioned by you. Also Meister Eckhart, Angelus Silesius and “Gospel of Thomas” – if the officia Churchl theology followed them instead of the dry scholasticism of St. Thomas Aquinas (which he himself supposedly rejected at the end of his life), Catholicism would be infinitely deeper. Alas, now it is mostly “just be good and love Jesus”. Nothing even remotely comparable to the metaphysical riches of the BHAgavatgita, not to mention the Brahmasutras.

  • quisutDeusmpc

    Meister Eckhart was awarded the chair in theology that St. Thomas Aquinas held. It is interesting that you mention him because he suffused his mysticism with St. Thomas’s theology. It seems to me apparent that you aren’t aware of the difference in the western Catholic tradition between revelation, liturgical, systematic and spiritual (I use the word to include both ascetic and mystical theology together as the two sides of the coin of ‘spiritual’ theology) theology.

    As I mentioned you must distinguish between St. Thomas himself, and the 16th century Italian and Spanish schools of neo-scholasticism that commented on him. Suarez, in particular, seems not to have wholly understood St. Thomas. In fact, his ‘Summa Theologica’ should not be read as a systematic theology (in the manualist style) but a complete spiritual theology. We often reject what we don’t understand. You gave me a good laugh there. I would be interested to obtain a citation from you for St. Thomas’s rejecting his life’s work. If it is what I think it is (Nil nisi te), then I believe, again, you fail to understand St. Thomas’s statement within the context in which it is spoken. In fact, the catholic Faith is the most profound expression of man’s deepest yearnings.

    I hope that you can appreciate the distinction between what is generally acceptable to the mass of humanity (although a faithful expression, not the deepest practice or understanding) and that which is experienced by those given to living out its precepts with fidelity and a profound insight into its mysteries. That is why those people are called ‘brahmans’ in the east and ‘saints’ in the west. However, one who has been graced to receive such union rarely if ever looks with snide disdain on other traditions and begins to see the unity in all things.

  • Sygurd Jonfski

    Words and concepts – that’s all there is to it. I enjoyed these illusions once, too. Now I know them for what they are and they don’t interest me any more. I do not lay any claim to being “enlightened” (another concept) – I just prefer silence. That means that I don’t see any point in continuing this exchange. Thank you for your time.

  • quisutDeusmpc

    God is love. He stepped out of eternity and into time; out of infinity and into our world to become One of us. He drew alongside us to encounter our fallenness in order to save us from Satan, sin, and death. He desires that we filled with all the fullness of God. Thank you for sharing your perspective and story. God bless you.

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