by HFH Reuvers


I think the essence of marriage is the promise of being true to each other. A man and a woman choose to go through life together. Of course they may have different views after some time. They are not supposed to stalk each other. But they mostly do sleep and eat together, and try to take some time for each other every day. If the marriage is blessed with children, these are a source of joint joy and worries.
It's befitting the couple should organise a wedding and preferably a wedding Mass. This way, they show their mutual promise to the community. I think we should not give a certificate of marriage to partners of the same gender. Since such a relation can't bring forth children, there's always less engagement.
The Church has always been reserved in giving public approbation to a marriage between partners who aren't both Catholic or if one of the partners is divorced. However, in the final end it's God who judges whether it was a good marriage or not.

Priests and monks and nuns are living in a relationship with God that's to some extent comparable with marriage. The priest wants to communicate Jesus to the people, above all by administering the sacraments. For instance, they do so by celebrating holy Mass every day.
Among the priests, the bishops play a leading role. They are the successors of the apostles, and have to pass on to the faithful the pure doctrine of Jesus. They do so in allegiance to the pope and the councils. The pope always has the last word.
The friars and nuns stay usually in the background. Some contemplative orders are still keeping their members under lock and key, or even imposing upon them the obligation of being silent. It's great to know they are continuously praying. Furthermore, there are many monks and nuns who are active in the world: caring for the aged and the sick, or working in education or in the mission.