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Marriage is my Vocation

Susan Klement, Mommy to Sabrina Claire

"When do you see your parents as married?"

Our priest was trying to help us understand the nature of the sacrament of marriage. We were attending a counseling session before our marriage about 120 miles away from the city we lived in, in my hometown, where the wedding would be taking place. I had no idea what Father Wunderlich was asking for. In the rush of getting ready for a wedding in a town 120 miles away, and planning to move to a town 70 miles in the other direction, we hadn't left a lot of time for reflection about the fundamental nature of marriage. We looked at him blankly.

"When are they married?" he tried again.

"Well, they are always married," I said slowly, uncertain that I was really answering what he was asking.

"Exactly." He went on to ask us that since we would be married every moment of our lives following the wedding, who would be the minister of the sacrament?

Now, what did he mean by that? Isn't he the minister? No, not in this sacrament, he told us, because he would not be there for the entire sacrament. He would only be present at the beginning as God's representative to witness our commitment to the sacrament.

Wow. What a responsibility we would have. As we drove home after the session, I remembered learning as a child (ironically in the same parish) that marriage is a vocation just as much as becoming a priest or a sister or any other religious calling. I somehow formed the impression that it wasn't as good a vocation, not because of the way I was taught, but because marriage and family seemed so ordinary. How could it be a special vocation in God's eyes? In light of my new understanding of marriage, though, it was obvious that marriage is a holy vocation. What could be more pleasing to God than committing to minister a sacrament every day for the rest of our lives?

Marriage is not easy. We have only been married for about 3 years, and I already know that this isn't easy. But we have found that it helps a lot to remember that we aren't in this alone. God is there to help.

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