Thursday, June 29, 2006

Cat Fights Revisited

Continuing the subject of annulments, and the prospect of explaining to some airhead in the mainstream media what they are, as opposed to what they are not, it seems those who are "Against All Heresies" are not the only ones who call it a "loophole." Athanasius Contra Mundum provides a competent explanation in light of the situation with actress Nicole Kidman.

A review of some comments boxes demonstrates what this writer has been saying for years; that when it comes to divorced Catholics, there is never a shortage of the faithful remnant who have it all figured out what you should or shouldn't be doing, not only with your marriage, but with your life, and why. The answer is simple; pray to God that you and your spouse will reconcile. While you're at it, sprinkle enough holy water all over the house. Otherwise you obviously haven't tried hard enough. After all, they know far better than you what went on in your house, your meeting with the pastor, your bedroom...

This approach -- besides making the would-be counselor look like a blithering idiot -- reduces the Almighty to some sort of magic genie. Rub the lamp hard enough and you get your wish, just like that. It doesn't work that way. God answers all prayers, but we aren't always listening, and when we do, the answer is not always the one we expect. When my wife left me sixteen years ago, I spent the year that followed learning from family members of things they had seen for themselves, things of which I was completely unaware. I learned of a plan that actually tricked me into making a commitment before its time. I saw for myself how I had turned into a madman trying to please those whose thirst for contentment could never be quenched. I was a hysterical, I was a wreck, and didn't even know it. By the end of the first year of separation, the mother of my son was a woman whom I had never met. That was not something I was sorry to learn; it was a gift allowing me to accept that which I was powerless to change. My prayers were answered, if not in the way I originally expected. My ability to live some semblance of a peaceful existence today can be attributed to this.

But hey, that's just me. And the more cases you discover, the more varied they are. (And for those ready to reply, be advised, the above is for the purpose of illustration, and does not begin to qualify anyone for a competent evaluation.)

Marriage is a mutual consent of two individuals who, until the time of the bond, led completely separate lives. They have minds of their own after the bond, ergo it's fair to say they had them beforehand. And it takes TWO to contract that bond. The role of a tribunal is to determine whether BOTH parties were capable of, and did indeed contract, that bond at the time in question. The number of years together, even the number of children, while making the breakup all the more incredible, becomes irrelevant, as all rests upon the existence of the bond to begin with.

It is not the role of the armchair critic who appears from out of nowhere; I don't give a rat's @$$ how many scapulars they wear around their neck.

[FOOTNOTE: I will not be taking comments on this particular piece, and judging from the ones I have received so far, this was the right decision. In at least two cases, it is painfully clear that the reader did NOT read what I had written. I am more than willing to entertain any private correspondence. In order to do that, you must send me your e-mail address. I will be in touch.]

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