The Spirituality of Marriage

Father Dennis Noon
Sunday, June 4, 2017 - 2:30pm

The time comes and a couple find themselves alone after the children have moved on and by now two people know each other better than anyone else in the world. They know how to please each other, they know what hurts. “I call you my friends,” Jesus told His disciples at the Last Supper, and this is a time to learn what a precious title that is. In the absence of many of the duties of child-rearing, a couple who have been business partners and co-parents can now become companions in a well-established friendship. A couple can now carry on a conversation without interruption and fall asleep without listening for the door to close on the last homecoming teen. The struggle to establish a career winds down and for many a period of relative financial ease begins. Armed with a much surer sense of who they are than they had as newlyweds, they can focus on appreciating the different gifts they bring to their marriage. Exciting new friendships open as well. The children have become peer or adults with whom an adult friendship can be built. When they fall in love and marry, the circle of potential friends around the family table expands. When grandchildren arrive, a couple can again knowingly share God’s delight in human children. This time, the gift of life comes with a blessedly simple job description – Enjoy! – and a conviction that this is the kind of relationship God seeks with us. Grandchildren give a new sense of one’s place in history, and with this a need to explore traditions. Surely it is no coincidence that many people develop an interest in tracing the family history at this point. It must have been the grandparents who retold the stories of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph to a band of pyramid-building slaves around the evening fires in Egypt. The tribal elders, grandparents or not, still have a faith story to share with the newest generation.