THE SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE
[continued from yesterday]
...Views subversive of the Catholic ideal are now very prevalent, and are becoming day by day more prevalent. In the matter of the sanctity of marriage, as in many other things, it is the [faithful] Catholics who are the salt of the earth.
Whilst other religious bodies are prepared to give way under any specious pretext which may arise, the See of Peter proclaims the principle of no compromise.
And when the Churches which ought to guard the sanctity of marriage show themselves weak and accommodating to the lower pleasures of man, we must not be surprised if non-religious bodies speak openly in favor of divorce and, all unashamed, make profession of free love. This, indeed, has come to pass.
High time is it, then, for Catholics to make their voice heard In protest. Nay, absolutely imperative is it that Catholics should rally themselves anew with even greater loyalty around the Holy Father who watches the marriage Sacrament so anxiously and sees its dangers so clearly.
Legislation is made which may be irksome; but the irksomeness thereby suffered is trifling compared with the irksomeness thereby avoided. Let us admit boldly that the marriage state is fraught with difficulties, that love is liable to grow cold, that childbearing is a burden, that the education of many children is a tax on the family's resources, that a drunken husband is an almost intolerable nuisance, that a gossiping wife is a plague of a life; let us admit all this, but at the same time insist that the Sacrament of marriage has power either to prevent or mitigate the evils. It restrains the passions.
But let the idea of divorce once get established and there is an end of restraint. The passions are let loose and fall victim to every little counter-attraction to family life.
The half-hearted partner who realizes that there is an easy escape from the burden of married life makes no serious attempt to bear it. Then comes the sad spectacle of a mother left alone with a house full of children and no father to provide for them; or what is perhaps even more sad, a father with a house full of children and no mother to take care of them.
The Church's laws may be hard to bear at times. They are, however, as the yoke of Christ, sweet and easy to bear, if only we spread them out over the short run of life.
[End of Chapter II.]
From Marriage and Parenthood, The Catholic Ideal
By the Rev. Thomas J. Gerrard
Author of "Cords of Adam," "The Wayfarer's Vision," ETC.
Copyright, 1911, by Joseph F. Wagner, New York.