Young Adult Ministry: Saint Martin of Tours Parish
By Stella S. Lal
The Young Adult Ministry of Saint Martin of Tours parish, along with the Office of Vocations of the Diocese of San Jose, sponsored the talk on “The Sacrament of Marriage”. 114 young adults from various parishes within the diocese attended the talk. Father Joe Kim is the Director of Vocations & Evangelization at the Diocese of San Jose. Paul & Stephanie Francois have been married for 39 years and have been conducting World Wide Marriage Encounters for more than 11 years.
The three speakers mentioned above, provided profound wisdom and deep insights to successfully living the Sacrament of Marriage.
In summary: God has a plan for our lives and when we align our will to God’s plan, our lives become most joyful and peaceful.
Dating and Discernment
Our vocation is God’s plan for us; we are not mere coincidences. We need to pray for discernment so that we can understand our vocations. We do this by following the example of Jesus, who listened to his father, and stayed in communion with Him constantly through prayer. A few helpful steps to follow:
• There is a natural progression to relationships. In finding a mate you first meet as acquaintances, then become friends, followed by dating, engagement and culminating in marriage. This progression of relationship should be respected.
• Defer dating till you have considered if you want to marry this person. Once you start dating, your judgment gets clouded and you will not be able to listen to anyone else’s opinion. Hence, it is difficult to see the person for who they really are and understand them fully.
• Physical relations cloud judgment; hence, you need to reserve it for after marriage.
• On your wedding day, when you go to the altar and say, “I do”know the person you are about to marry: their likes, dislikes, their opinions about relationship, marriage, family, children etc. Then you will be able to truly say that you “Freely, without reservation for the rest of my life take this person to be my husband/wife,” in front of God, the minister and witnesses.
Living the Sacrament of Marriage
Paul & Stephanie shared with us the journey of their married life and how making God’s plan their plan helped restore their marriage, and made it the most joyful experience of their life.
They attribute the successful aspects of their marriage to getting know each other before getting married; their likes, dislikes, family history, goals, etc. Other factors that helped were, getting married in the Church and some level of marriage preparation.
They recommend waiting for the sexual union until couples are married and being open to God’s procreation plans without dictating one’s own plan through use of contraceptives. In conclusion, they shared with us that,
“The Sacrament of Marriage is a reflection of God’s love which the married couple, through their expression of love for each other, reflect to the community.”