Divorce is painful.
Jesus does not intend to cause pain when he confronts the reality of divorce.
He intends to promote the will of God….the perfection of love and the good of human relations.
He promotes marriage, describes marriage,
as a covenant of personal love between spouses
which reflects the covenant relationship of God and His people.
Long before Jesus came to this earth,
the question of divorce was the topic of religious thought and intellectual discussion.
Jesus situates marriage within God’s created order.
Over time, the tendency was and continues to be the placing of greater value
on a world determined and governed by human order.
As such, the value of marriage and the reality of divorce
are determined by their service to human ends.
Outside of Catholic religious thought
there is minimal attention given to the “why” of divorce.
What is the cause, what are the causes of divorce?
It is a complex issue and involves the interaction and combination of a multitude of qualities, dispositions, attitudes, beliefs, convictions, experiences, and so forth.
Here are some things that I believe contribute to the choice of ending a marriage by way of divorce. These might sound familiar:
selfishness; self-centeredness; individualism; vice; immaturity; lack of a developed self-understanding; absence of virtue; self-indulgence; instant self-gratification; lack of temperance; lack of patience; inability to tolerate pain; unwillingness to sacrifice; stubbornness; insensitivity; pride; meanness; jealousy; desire for power; misuse of authority and power; ignorance; error; blind ambition; unforgiveness; misunderstanding of the truth…
lack of awareness; competition; a disordered life; absence of a common center; exaggerated self-importance; a lack of proper perspective; illusionary value; the absence of faith; the absence of a common standard of evaluation; a lack of graciousness; boredom; distraction; incompatible reasons for living; uninformed and undeveloped conscience; the priority of subjective good over objective good; no clear sense of purpose; the loss of any sense of sacredness; consumerism….
distorted notion that what I want and what is good are the same thing; dismissal and denial of spiritual reality; no sense of human decency; the careless and sensational portrayal of human depravity; pre-occupation with the unnecessary and unimportant; a lack of interest in thinking for one’s self; inability to distinguish between good and evil; aggression and human degradation; an unclear and/or distorted understanding of human nature; a social diet of immorality, dehumanization, pornography and violence; the pursuit of wealth and material excess; sexuality without love…
I’m sure you could add a few more reasons according to your own experience and observations.
I believe if we want to prevent divorce and promote life-long marriage
we must be conscious of and deliberately counter the above human tendencies.
In other words, we must become aware of and avoid sin if we want to avoid divorce.
Today’s prayer: “O Lord, only with Your grace is it possible for us to live in the light of Your truth, to live according to Your order. May the covenant of love that You have established with Your people sustain our marriage relationships. Amen!”
19th Week in Ordinary Time
Divorce is painful.