A POST-World Youth Day initiative Faith on Tap this month drew a record crowd in Brisbane, with organisers crediting a “hot topic” for the success.
“Marry or Move in?” was the question posed and answered at the young adults’ event at the Pineapple Hotel.
Jesuit Father Gregory Jordan tackled the question offering engaging insights based on theological and scriptural references.
“We, in this first decade of the twenty-first century, are faced with a social change of colossal proportions … now most couples getting married live together beforehand,” he said to the crowd of 130.
“When a couple teamed up and started going together they went through a stage called courtship.
“It might last months, or more than a year or two … while they saved like mad for the future.
“Engagement followed … (and) duly wed, they came back from their honeymoon and moved straight into the first residence they could call their own, and settled in to married life.”
Fr Jordan quoted the many factors contributing to the “cohabitation” that is now more prevalent including the introduction of the oral contraceptive pill and “de facto legislation”, “general rebellion against authority” and the influence of media.
Fr Jordan said “widespread loss of religious faith or at least conviction and religious practice … adds up to a meltdown of most standards of conduct” leaving young people feeling as though they are “drowning”.
“There is an answer on the theoretical level of ideas, of principles, of belief and conviction, or merely human analysis by those who study these things,” he said.
“There is also many an answer on the practical level, mostly to be found in the Churches.”
This “answer” places marriage “right at the centre as a yardstick of human conduct”, with Fr Jordan quoting from the beginning of the Book of Genesis that God made man and woman according to His “own image and likeness”.
“Therefore husband and wife, more so when they have children, mirror what goes on in God, where the three Divine Persons, who do everything perfectly and infinitely so, give themselves to each other totally, and for all eternity,” he said.
“That’s what comes from the marriage vows when you say, ’til death do us part’.
“Mutual, total self-giving, expressed through sexual intercourse and sealed by it.
“We are created to be givers, not takers. Receivers, yes, but not takers.
“To the degree then that we are givers, we fulfil our human destiny and become like God according to our human nature, and we know a profound satisfaction that the one who wants only to take never knows.
“In the area of sexuality, one who only takes, is guilty of lust. He is avoiding his calling, which is to love.”
Fr Jordan said “anything less” denied “true contentment” and he quoted various works including Theology of the Body by Pope John Paul II.
Monthly Faith on Tap gatherings will continue in 2009.
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