From Plain Talks on Marriage by Rev. Fulgence Meyer, O.F.M., 1927

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Life is often compared to a stage, upon which we are all given a part to play. God Himself has assigned our individual roles to us.

In calling you to the married state He has allotted to you a distinguished and arduous part on the stage of life. And if you are a parent, your part is immensely more sublime and difficult.

It is by no means easy to play well and creditably the part of a Catholic married person and parent. This requires virtue and ability of the highest order. Whoever in a dramatic play has to represent a difficult character, is glad to have someone instruct him and provide him with helpful cautions, hints and suggestions.

God Has Chosen You

You must above all remember, that God has chosen you for the part you must play on the stage of life; and since He has chosen you for it, He will supply you with the strength you need to acquit yourself of it satisfactorily.

Even if you married frivolously and thoughtlessly, or through mere passion or spite: now that you are bound by the marriage tie, you can be sure that God intended you should be bound thus: and consequently you can count on His help to achieve happiness and holiness in the marriage you have legitimately contracted, and from which you can no longer withdraw.

All regrets as to what else might have been, had you not married as you did, are idle and futile. What matters now is that you make the most of your present situation through good sense and the grace of God.

Do not make things worse by dwelling gloomily and pessimistically on your real or imaginary mistake in marrying as you did, and by thus increasing the evil effects of it: but rather make a virtue out of necessity, and turn your mistake, whatever it was, into a stepping stone to sanctity and everlasting glory.

To those who entered the convent or the priesthood without a vocation from on high, and who realized their mistake after they had bound themselves by the holy vows for life, St. Augustine said: “If you are not called, see to it that you be called.”

Similarly married people who, after they are married a while, find that they made a mistake in marrying at all, will apply the best remedy to their hard situation not by unavailing complaints or morbid self-pity, but by doing what they can to render their actual married life their real vocation.

With the aid of God’s grace many have done this to their great contentment and sanctification. What others have done, you can do too, with the assistance of the same grace.

Spiritually and religiously you may even thrive better for being unfortunately married.

A Vale of Tears

The fact alone that you are not fully happy in your married life, is not by any means a sign that you were not called or destined for it. No one, in the married or any other state of life, is completely happy on this earth.

God did not intend that anyone should be entirely happy. This earth will always be a vale of tears no matter how we arrange it, in marriage, in the single life in the world, in the cloister, in the priesthood, and everywhere else.

We are merely pilgrims or tourists steering towards our eternal home, and the more we are disposed to put up with the discomforts and annoyances of tourists or travelers, the less chagrined shall we be.

Even in paradise there was the forbidden tree and the insidious serpent. No home or family life can therefore be expected to be without some trouble and worry.

All we can do is to achieve a relative eternal happiness here below, as a preparation for an eternal happiness beyond. Marriage offers a good opportunity for the accomplishment of both.

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