I stipulate at the outset that religious vocations are urgently needed and vitally important to the mission of the church. In no way do I wish to denigrate the sacrifice of those so called. I remain most grateful for their commitment and service.
However I am somewhat disheartened that marriage, as a vocation, is hardly addressed from the pulpit or in weekly church publications such as The Catholic Review. It strikes me as missed opportunity to elevate, in the eyes of the faithful, the rightful position of marriage in God’s plan for humanity.
Instead we focus on religious vocations and seem content to let secular society define the meaning of marriage – a temporary arrangement of convenience subject to the personal whims of the individuals involved. Ironically, it is not for lack of knowing better that marriage as vocation is given so little attention.
Yes, I agree that there are family-related side issues addressed in the homilies and newspapers to which the laity is exposed, but seldom is marriage itself addressed as a sacred lifetime vocation of utmost importance to the life and growth of Christ’s church on earth. What a pity more effort is not made, for example, in educating the laity in the Theology of the Body that Pope John Paul II left for the church to digest. Perhaps if we prayed more for true marriage vocations, we might discover a source for more religious vocations.