What I’m waiting for the most, perhaps even wishing it in my subconscious, is the law on divorce. Divorce, in this country, and maybe in some others as well that remain closed even to the idea, has long been misunderstood as a Pandora’s box. Open it and all sorts of she-evils will fly out and contaminate the world. It’s BS. Like the story of the stork ingrained into us as children when we asked adults how babies got made or born.
For me, the most practical argument for divorce is that the right to enter into a contract, in this case, marriage, gives one the right to terminate or reform it when terms and conditions are not met; termination is applicable when, despite the steps taken to set things right, the effect of the contract on the parties is one of a weighty yoke. No person should be burdened by a contract.
The clergy would argue that marriage is more than just a “contract” or a piece of paper affixed with the signatures of bride and groom and their witnesses; that it is in essence a sacrament in that marriage is “to glorify God and to be a representation of how Christ loves the church.” Fine. And that is where the Church or rather the clergy has failed marriages today. They are increasingly more concerned at managing mainstream (meaning, anti-poor) businesses and school boards instead of attending to their primary mission which is to be like Christ who took the road less traveled where the poor and unwanted of the earth are. Administering sacraments to persons, whether the sick or the bride and groom, has become mechanical. The clergy has become so world-busy that they now also have no time to stop and chat with and get to know their sheep. In knowing their sheep are shepherds able to administer to each according to individual needs.
Where were they when families are falling apart or when marriages show cracks in their seemingly happy veneers? Selling organic food. My god. The clergy also has it all wrong now. The passage about “God will provide” means that families will be the ones that will support the clergy and the Church into the future as long as they are also supported in their spiritual needs. Because, how could a family that’s always fighting help back the Church and it’s clergy? It can’t as all it’s energies (and money) are spent in something else. I overheard churchgoers once saying “wala naman pinuputahan mga binibigay ng mga tao.” Churchgoers have already become sarcastic about adequately contributing financially to the Church because they don’t feel a spiritual connection with their priests and nuns. They are sheep without a shepherd.
What does it mean by marriage as glorification of God and representation of Christ in the church? Do modern married couples understand that? The few that do have I bet came to out of a lifelong struggle of experiences not necessarily with the individualized support of the clergy.
The Church is in a crisis and it’s effects on the Body, the families, are felt proportionally. The sacrament of marriage is entwined with the health of the Church that has facilitated and borne witness to the marriage. My point is, and this is for the clergy, that they stop pointing fingers at others in connection with this divorce law. Look at yourselves first, acknowledge your part in what you describe as the deterioration of society, bring order in the house, and society will follow.
On the other hand, the marriage contract, to be understood as distinct from matrimony, should not be forced upon the contracting parties when it is obvious that it is beyond repair or reform. This is where the State, not the Church, steps in with the duty to protect the right/freedom of persons entering into contracts. Those who counter that the law is bound to be abused are like people walking forward with their heads turned a hundred and eighty degrees back. They don’t know forward from backward. Look at the child protection law. It’s not that there suddenly was a flood of cases reported following the law, because these cases really did happen, many of these years before the enactment of the law, but rather the courts are lacking in appropriate response given inadequate personnel, not enough trained personnel including judges, irrelevant rules of court including design of courts supposedly friendly to children, and the like. It’s the justice system not the victim-survivors that renders the law ineffective and inefficient. Similarly unless there are preparations now let’s anticipate the same with the divorce law when passed.
In the meantime, we all want and cannot truly know life and happiness without true love. I wrote, recently, on the slip of paper that the nuns will read in their prayer and skip meals for, for true love. Finally. Yey. Ha ha. I should’ve explicitly asked for it a long, long time ago but as it is I didn’t. I was for a very long time ambiguous about love and relationships. Girls and young women my age were busy looking for and raving about the love of their lives. I was busy doing other things. Then life happened. But the universe remains kind. Recent happenings seem to propel me toward a life that has less to be fearful about and more reason to be grateful for, to love, and be loved. It struck me that such is the purpose of life: true love. But then our world is an imperfect world. For the majority, true love doesn’t come on a silver platter. The first time that we thought we’ve got it may not be it after all. Many times, success depends on circumstances. We all, for instance, cannot be Catherine and William because there is only one of either. We are called upon to chart our own unique lives. If and when we fall doing so, we get up every time. That’s the most important thing. For the State or the Church to keep the fallen down is like declaring death sentences on people who are otherwise still alive. Let the clergy deal with their own internal crisis on their own time if that’s what they feel like doing, but not on borrowed, that is, people’s time.