Wednesday, September 30, 2015



In some of my past articles, I quoted Father Lasance’s book, A Catholic Girl’s Guide, which explained the different states of life and how we ought to properly discern which path God has ordained for each of us to follow.

For most people, God does not reveal their calling to them until it is time for them to embrace it.  Yet, I have noticed that God often places obstacles in the paths of those, who already know that He wishes them to marry.  This in turn keeps them from entering their vocation for a substantial period of time. 

I and a number of my friends and acquaintances used to discuss among ourselves why God does this.  In time, we discovered that the reason why God arranges matters this way is because, out of all the states of life, marriage is usually the most difficult path on which to enter and save one’s soul.  

Saint Alphonsus Liguori even goes so far as to say that a good married person is as rare as a white fly!

So, for those called to the married life, God may let them know that this is their vocation, yet many years may pass by before anything is ever finalized.  The reason for this is because God wishes them to prepare themselves better for the duties, crosses, and hardships of the married state.

Here is a more detailed description of what Saint Alphonsus Liguori says about this subject in his book, True Spouse of Christ:

2. How much more Happy are Virgins than Married Women even in this Life. 

To become a saint in the world, it is necessary for the married woman to adopt the means of sanctification, to frequent the sacraments, to make long and frequent mental prayer, to practice many interior and exterior mortifications, to love contempt, humiliations, and poverty; in a word, to make every effort in her power to please God. She must, then, be perfectly detached from the world, and all its goods, and perfectly free from the control and tyranny of human ties. 

But how can a married person find the time, the opportunities, and helps necessary for recollection, and continual application to the things of God? She that is married thinketh on the things of the world, how to please her husband. The married woman must provide for her family, educate her children, please her husband, his parents, brothers, and relatives, who are sometimes to her a constant source of trouble. Hence the Apostle says, her heart must be divided, and her affections fixed partly on her husband, partly on her children, and partly on God. 

What time can she have for continual prayer, for frequent Communion, when, with all her efforts, she is not able to attend to the wants of the house? The husband must be attended; if his directions be neglected, or his commands be not immediately executed, he breaks out into complaints and reproaches. The servants disturb the house, at one time by their clamors or their quarrels, at another by their importunate demands. The children, if small, are a perpetual source of annoyance, either by their cries and screams, or by the endless variety of their wants; if grown up, they are an occasion of still greater inquietude, fears and bitterness, by associating with bad companions, by the dangers to which they are exposed, or the infirmities with which they are afflicted. 

How, in the midst of so many difficulties and embarrassments, is it possible for the married woman to attend to prayer, or to preserve recollection? And, as to her Communions, they can scarcely be as frequent as once a week. She may indeed have strong desires of sanctification; but to pay great and constant attention to the affairs of her soul will be morally impossible. The very privation of the opportunities of attending to the things of God may be made a source of great merit by patient submission to the divine will, in the unhappy state in which she is placed. 

All this is indeed possible; but to practice patience and resignation, in the midst of so many troubles and distractions, without the aid of prayer, of spiritual reading, or of the sacraments, will be exceedingly difficult and almost impracticable. But would to God that seculars were exposed to no other evils than the obstacles to their devotions, to constant prayer, and the frequent use of the sacraments. Their greatest misfortune is to be in continual danger of losing the grace of God and their own immortal souls. They must appear like their equals, they must employ servants, and support their rank. They must go abroad to visit their friends, and in these visits they must converse with a variety of characters. At home they must hold constant intercourse with their own families, with their relatives, and with the friends of their husband. 

Oh! How great on such occasions is the danger of losing God! This is not understood by young persons, but it is well known to those who are settled in the world, and who are daily exposed to such dangers. 

Oh! How unhappy and miserable is the life of the generality of married persons! I have known the circumstances, the feelings and dispositions, of numberless married persons, from the highest to the lowest classes of society, and how few of them were content! The bad treatment of husbands, the disaffection of children, the wants of the family, the control of relatives, the pains of childbirth, which are always accompanied with danger of death, the scruples and anxiety of conscience regarding the flight of occasions, and the education of children, plunge poor seculars into endless troubles and agitation, and fill their souls with continual regret for not having been called to a happier and more holy state. God grant that, in the midst of such troubles and agitation, many of them may not lose their immortal souls, and that, along with passing through a hell in this life, they may not be condemned to an eternity of torments in the next. Such is the unhappy condition of many of those who have engaged in the married state. 

But you will ask, Are there no saints among so many thousands of married persons? I answer, that there are some who sanctify themselves in the world by suffering a continual martyrdom, by bearing, for God’s sake, all crosses and troubles with patience and cheerfulness, and by peacefully and lovingly offering themselves in all things to God. There are some who attain this high degree of perfection: but they are as rare as white flies. And you will find that such holy souls are always employed in works of penance, and that they continually aspire after the sanctity and disengagement of those who have consecrated their virginity to Jesus Christ, devoted their lives to the glory of God, and have embraced a state of constant happiness."


Those who know that they are called to the married state ought not to be in any sort of rush to enter upon this state of life without being properly prepared.  

Many people think of marriage as an easy means to live happily ever after until the end of their days.  Yet, in actuality, it is the hardest vocation in which to be happy and content for even a short period of time.  For, pain and crosses are the lot in life of those who marry, and at times those who undertake it will feel like little white flies – pests that everyone hates.  

Now, it is only after we learn to fully accept and embrace the hardships of our life, and offer them to God with resignation and humility, that our burdens become lighter and we obtain graces for ourselves and others.  Therefore, those who know that God wishes them to marry ought to take whatever time they have beforehand to learn how to suffer joyfully and grow in virtue, so that they and their families may be more happy during their life together on this earth. 

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