April 25, 2020 11:42 pm

With our plans up in the air for everything we do, there’s a plus side.
Unable to continue on the same smooth highway, or in the same ruts we’ve grown accustomed to navigating, we’re being forced to think in creative ways. We’ve had to alter our behavior. We’ve had to interact with family and the environment in ways that we perhaps never tried.
In speaking with some couples, I was inspired to see the meaning of “sacrament” come alive before me. I’ll take a stab at explaining the sense that came to mind.
People go to mass and participate in the “sacrament” of the Eucharist or they see a baby receive the “sacrament” of baptism. So too, married couples can smile in recalling their wedding day on which they received (or “became”) the “sacrament” of marriage (Cele and Tom Beckrow celebrated their anniversary this past week).
HOWEVER, with this virus limiting our mobility, all of us are “away from the sacraments” (the pope even saying, as reported in our website, that a person can self-administer—with God–the sacrament of reconciliation—until further notice). Being “away from the sacraments” USED to mean that a person had become a “fallen away” or “lapsed” Catholic.
That terminology does not apply to the current circumstances. All of us are “away from the sacraments”—-but not of our own choosing.
Everyone is facing this challenge, of course, but here I’m addressing married couples—-especially since comedic pundits make facile commentary on how these relationships will take a hit due to being in close quarters 24/7. Thinking of how they NOT take a hit, I’ve been touched to witness people face the challenge of being together 24/7 in a loving way—and how this period CAN be an opportunity for growth.
We all know Jesus said to “love one another as I have loved you”—in good times and bad, for better or for worse, etc. But especially now, this gospel quote and marriage formula can be as frustrating as the stay-at-home mandate. We see its wisdom,
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