Daily Retreat 10/04/09
Gn 2:18-24/ Ps 127(128):1-2. 3. 4-5. 6/ Heb 2:9-11/ Mk 10:2-16
From today’s readings: “The LORD God said: ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.’... May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.... He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated all have one origin.... But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh....”
The Two of Them Become One Flesh
Clearly, the Bible espouses a sublime teaching about the matrimonial union of man and woman. Jesus Himself quotes chapter 2 of Genesis, reminding His followers that our conception of marriage must begin with God’s intention, not just human experience, for better or for worse.
But hardness of hearts has led to separating what God has united. In Holy Matrimony, God unites man and woman, but divorce separates. God unites the unitive and procreative dimensions of marital intercourse, but contraception separates. God unites the sexual and spiritual aspects of human life, but hedonism separates. God creates and unites male and female as partners, but chauvinism and militant feminism separate them as antagonists.
Those who abort and thwart God’s conception of marital unity, rebuking and rejecting the divine biblical and magisterial teaching, ultimately bear nothing in their lives but the sterile hardness of their own hearts. But those who embrace God’s design and are open to His will all the days of their lives bring forth the fertile fruits of Christ’s blessing which lead to the Kingdom of God!
As is already known, since 2002, these virtual retreat reflections have been an outreach of Immaculate Heart Retreat Center in Spokane, WA. Originally, Msgr. William Van Ommeren, in residence at IHRC, wrote the daily meditations with characteristic gentle wisdom arising from his pastoral and spiritual experience of many years. Then in August of 2003, IHRC director Deacon John Ruscheinsky asked me to take up this ministry, and so it has been my privilege to share my humble scriptural insights in this forum for the past 6 years. For the many blessings that I have shared from this work, I am grateful to God, I am grateful to Deacon Ruscheinsky and the supportive staff at IHRC, and I am grateful to all the many readers who have been a part of this ministry with prayers, donations to IHRC, and all kinds of encouragement.
Tomorrow, a new chapter in this series begins, for I will be passing on this apostolate to Deacon Ruscheinsky himself, who will start posting reflections drawn from his inspiring work as the director at IHRC. I will certainly appreciate continued prayers, both for me, as I focus on my teaching at Mt. Angel Seminary, and for Deacon John Ruscheinsky. I’ve treasured his friendship and spiritual insights - how wonderful that he will now be sharing that with more people through this e-evangelization!