Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Stand in Reality

We had a professor last year who was young, energetic, handsome, and didn't wear a ring. Then we found out that he was a consecrated celibate in a community. We're talking vows not promises. And suddenly, how you looked at him was changed.

I remember the way my friend explained it. If your vocation is your stand in reality, then this total chang of perception makes perfect sense. When you find out someone's vocation, suddenly you see them in light of this fact, this calling which determines the rest of their being. If you see a man in plain clothes, who then introduces himself as a priest, the same thing happens.

One of the guys who plays soccer never wears a ring when he plays, so I never knew he was married. Then I saw him at a different function the other day, with his wife. And it just clicked- it made him make sense! Now I can see him much more in reality; his stand in it is named. I don't know how to explain it. But there is something in how he plays, in how he affirms everyone on the field, and how fatherly he is that I just couldn't seem to reconcile with a single man and it kind of confused me. And now I see why! How cool!! His marriage defines him in a fundamental way, and it is communicated just in the way he is. He didn't even have to have his ring on, or mention his wife every day for me to know there was definitely something to him, that he was not a normal single guy. I'm wondering if there's a way to tell him that, but I think if people don't know where I'm coming from, the JPII vision, they might think it's... well... strange. "You only made sense to me when I saw you with your wife!"

2 comments:

Misako said...

Those marriages are the really blessed ones and I'm glad to see that you've come across some men like that. Unfortunetly, too often I see married men act in completely different ways and their behavior doesn't make sense. I always look at them wondering if they were too young when they got married, didn't marry the right person, or what. We should all strive for what you've found. A ring doesn't make a marriage.

Theo C said...

Can you really tell that a man is married or not by a sixth sense or are there markers that some pick up, albeit maybe unconsciously?

You are right though, I cannot fantasize about a girl if she is married or a consecrated virgin. I guess that is my upbringing. I feel different toward them. However, not everyone these days feels this way. A leading cause of divorce today is the high rate of adultery. Some polls say that over half of all working women have had affairs at work and the numbers with men are not much better. Back in the 1960's and 70's, it is my understanding that thousands of priests and nuns abandoned their religious callings, often for each other.

I guess it was in light of such defections, and the accompanying dissent, that Pope John Paul II so often mentioned hope in regard to the new generation of Catholics, even if marginalized, who seemed so staunch in the traditional faith.

Consecrated persons should wear habits. A friend of mine was hitting on a girl and later it caused great embarassment when he found out that she was a sister. He said she wore a short skirt and tight blouse and all the signs of welcome toward flirtation were there. He felt duped and, while no saint among females, disgusted with himself. He firmly believes that "you don't mess with someone else's woman, particularly God's!"

The post makes me reflective of what I want in life and marriage. What do I want in a spouse?

a soulmate with whom to walk in faith and holiness

a friend who will know me better than I know myself

a person different from me, but complementary in her gifts and likes

a girl who would give me her virginity with joy and who would take mine with gratitude

a person with whom I could always talk, about anything

a woman with whom I could get naked and neither of us be ashamed

a woman desiring to be the mother of my sons and daughters

a woman willing to use natural family planning, but also wanting to share the marital act as frequently as possible

a romantic like myself, knowing that tenderness, gentleness and forgiveness must exist between us and our babies

a girl to kneel beside me when we pray together

a woman who would see the joining of our bodies as a sacred act, a holy thing, a surrender to each other and providence

a woman who would share my Catholic faith and worship beside me in the Sunday pew

a woman who will love me no matter what, and a woman that I could love in the same way

a woman who does not believe in divorce, that it is not an option, ever

a girl to hold close on cold nights and with whom to swim in the sea when the days are warm

I could go on and on. I have met a few who come pretty close. And there are many who break your heart because of the bad choices they have made.

Sorry for the long post, later,
Theo