For many years I heard phrases such as: “religious life is a higher calling than marriage” and “those who choose religious life want to live their lives entirely for the Lord.” But I rarely heard language which edified and elevated the vocation of married life. That was until I took a course with Dr. Timothy O’Malley on the Nuptial Mystery. This vocation, which can seem so ordinary, was illuminated through Scripture and the works of many theologians. I finally was able to grasp intellectually that which I had always known to be true—that the Sacrament of Marriage is holy and sacred, an icon of Christ’s love poured out for us on the Cross.
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Editorial Note: The following is an excerpt from an essay entitled A Story of Divorce as Self-Realization originally published by Church Life Journal on January 13, 2020. This review contains spoilers.
I cannot stop thinking about Noah Baumbach’s film, Marriage Story, starring Adam Driver as Charlie, and Scarlett Johansson as his soon to be ex-wife Nichole. Real marriages, marriages of equals that have lasted more than a handful of years, not sitcom marriages played for laughs, are rarely given this much attention on the silver screen. It is perhaps difficult to capture the little moments that make up a shared life, but Baumbach captures them beautifully. Here is Nichole cutting Charlie’s hair. Here is Charlie cooking her dinner, or opening up the blankets so their son, Henry, can be comforted after a bad dream.
In a country where a million people file for divorce every year there are surprisingly few films about it in which neither partner gets turned into a cartoon villain or quickly written out of the script. In Marriage Story there are no villains, just two very imperfect humans struggling to find their “aliveness” and a sense of worth. . . .
This past June, Archbishop José Gomez visited the University of Notre Dame to address Catholic leaders from around the country who were on campus for Liturgy Week and other conferences hosted by the McGrath Institute for Church Life. In keeping with Liturgy Week’s theme, “Liturgy and the Domestic Church,” the Archbishop’s talk centered on the importance of the family and the need to discover ways that the Church can nourish and support family life.
For first century Jews, it must have been strange when Christ, a wife-less celibate, identified himself as a bridegroom. Dr. Brant Pitre, professor of Scripture at the Augustine Institute, takes up this topic in his talk Christ as Bridegroom, outlining the various ways in which Christ demonstrates and models spousal love to the Church, as evident in Scripture.