Just in time for the great marriage debate in Australia today, Bishop Robert Barron writes up, in good news fashion, comparing Grace with Karma. Read it twice. Better yet, listen to his podcast of it (Word on Fire). He did not have our current issues in mind, but I think this is a challenge for Christians in Australia: how are we doing in the debate about same sex marriage today? If all we are about is condemnation, fire, brimstone and no, no, and no, then we're not preaching good news. We'd be talking at the other side, not dialogue at all. Instead, I think we should pass the grace on and say:
Here is the Christian institution of Marriage. These are the gifts flowing from it. This is the grace of God in action through families built on this version of Marriage. It is indissoluble, built as a total, exclusive self-giving as exemplified by Christ for his bride, the Church (us). It is fruitful if we die to ourselves and live for each other. We don't always get it right, and it's not easy, but when we get it right, it's pretty good, and it makes us better people. We build families this way, where our children learn about love, patience, kindness, delighting in one another, creatively rich in our diversity - yes, a man and a woman, united as one body. We all learn resilience and support for one another amidst challenges. We learn and practice forgiveness over and over again because we are not perfect, and marriage, and our kids, teach us that about ourselves. They also give is every opportunity to get it right (eventually). Day by day, at each episode, with each drama we find ourselves in, this develops our character. The civilization we enjoy today was built on this institution. It has tamed our barbarous ways. We've been making a hash of things because we've trashed marriage and family in the last half-century. We can get things right again if we go back to how it was instituted in the beginning. This is the grace of Christian marriage. It is built on firm foundation, unassailably beautiful in physical form, philosophy and theology.
We are not screaming "no" at you (on the other side). We are inviting you to consider our "yes" to all the above.