Reflection on marriage as a vocation

James Ryan from the National Office for Vocation reflects on the vocation to marriage as a God-given opportunity for mutual love and growth.

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A reflection for Marriage Week from James Ryan, Discipleship Promoter for the National Office for Vocation.

Marriage is a vocation, inasmuch as it is a response to a specific call to experience conjugal love as an imperfect sign of the love between Christ and the Church. Consequently, the decision to marry and to have a family ought to be the fruit of a process of vocational discernment (Amoris Laetitia 72).

The Church teaches that marriage is a vocation, a call from God and a response from two people, by God’s sustaining divine grace, who promise to build a lifelong, intimate and sacramental partnership of love and life. The call to marriage is a way of living out our universal call to holiness which is freely given to each person when they are baptised. Couples and Christian parents should follow their own proper path to holiness by faithful love, throughout the entire length of their lives.

Marriage is a natural vocation as it is created by God: “‘God is himself the author of marriage’ The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator.” (CCC 1603). “God has created us with a natural longing for love as we are all called to love which is ‘the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being’” (CCC 1604).

We are called to live out our vocation in different ways, perhaps as a priest or religious and some of us will remain single. Whichever state of life God calls us each of us to, we are all united by our call to holiness, just like the saints in heaven. Let us give thanks for our husbands and wives, parents, grandparents, those who inspire us, and those we look up to in marriage.

We also pray for all engaged couples, that through a period of discernment together, in prayer, and guided support that they use this is an opportunity of growth together.

We pray that the witness in these materials will inspire married couples, young people and children, in the celebration of marriage during Marriage Week.

James Ryan
National Office for Vocation

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