The Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helpmate.’ So from the soil the Lord God fashioned all the wild beasts and all the birds of heaven. These he brought to the man to see what he would call them; each one was to bear the name the man would give it. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of heaven and all the wild beasts. But no helpmate suitable for man was found for him. So the Lord God made the man fall into a deep sleep. And while he slept, he took one of his ribs and enclosed it in flesh. The Lord God built the rib he had taken from the man into a woman, and brought her to the man. The man exclaimed:
‘This at last is bone from my bones,
and flesh from my flesh!
This is to be called woman,
for this was taken from man.’
This is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife, and they become one body.
It is notable that our Liturgy names marriage as the one blessing not washed away in the great Flood!
That blessing, like so many that have followed since, is often cramped and compromised in the circumstances of our lives. Yet the still more of God’s love remains there for us to draw us forward and open us up to all that is good. Often – when we look back – the times of trial are the times that have enabled most growth. It is hard to believe at the time, but memory helps, and faith in God’s goodness and purpose for us.
To his goodness and his will we are invited to respond. (Indeed how churlish we will be if we don’t). That response often falls into the category of conversion (a more technical term for most human growth that is not purely physical): conversion to a life more free and capable of love.
If where we are right now such a change seems a long way away, let us try to express hope, and to exercise faith in God – even if we find it hard to trust in ourselves or others.
- Pray for the Synod on Family Life and Mission
- Pray for your family and friends
- Pray for those who struggle today.
A wedding in Aix en Provence, France. (c) 2014, Allen Morris