The following instruction which was written originally for Benedictine
Oblates, can inform our reflection for married SBPCLC.
The lines about being unprofitable to oneself and
others and the prohibition against associating with others
at "inappropriate" hours can be very well applied to
Oblates (SBPCLC). For souls in long term covenant
relationships (marriage) physically "sundering" the
relationship is sometimes extremely difficult if not impossible
because of religious, economic, involvement of others
(children), or other reasons. The subject of annulments is
a whole different discussion certainly not in the scope of
this short reflection. Suffice it to say that an annulment
should indicate that marriage never occurred in the first
place. Divorce also is too complex an issue for this present
piece. Let me tell you the favorite story of a Marriage
Counselor at the hospital. Seems a man, very much in doubt of
the worth of counseling proudly asserted to the Counselor,
"We've been married for forty-five years and never had an
argument! What does THAT tell you?" Without missing a beat the
Counselor answered, "It tells me you don't live in the same
Married Oblates (SBPCLC) are still human. There
can come a time in even a loving relationship when the feelings
of one or both parties become confused, diluted or dissipated.
It is a fact that people do change over a life time. Physical,
mental or spiritual problems may arise. Situations may present
themselves which pose seemingly impossible obstacles to
maintaining a relationship.
It is a sad fact that no matter how much we may love another;
no matter how well we think we know their minds, it is only in
very, very rare cases that we can *really* know another
completely. Only God can know anyone that well. Some souls,
willingly or otherwise, even make an attempt to hide their inner
selves from God.
At times a soul may have to withdraw slightly (perhaps even
from a spouse) in order not to be crushed by the insensitivity
of a loved one. I'm not speaking of physically leaving as in
abandoning another. Sometimes taking a walk or reading a book in
another room can be very helpful.
**There can never ever be a sufficient reason or justification
for breaking the Covenant relationship between yourself,
your spouse and Almighty God by marital infidelity!**
It is very difficult for some souls to "let us in". Believe me,
if we try to force our way in, we are almost certainly going to
exacerbate the situation.
Always pray. For ourselves and our special other. Always be
gentle. St. Paul said love is ALWAYS gentle. If you feel you are
loosing the ability to be loving or gentle it's time for that
walk. We can not allow our wounded human nature to react to
another's difficulty by becoming irritated at being kept at a
distance. That's wounded Pride reacting in us, not Benedictine
(SBPCLC) charity or marital love!
There can even come a time when, after a thousand and one cuts,
one no longer feels love for a spouse. That may change tomorrow
but, in the meantime, remember that does not absolve us of ANY
of the responsibilities we have for our partners. If we aren't
watchful we can be lead to dwell on what we are "missing" or
"entitled to". There is absolutely no way one can justify or
rationalize the breaking of a Covenant Relationship by seeking
physical comfort, sexual release, or other intimacy
outside the marriage. None! Zip! Nada! Abuse, of
course, is another whole issue and must always be absolutely
condemned in the strongest terms and NEVER tolerated
or condoned... but even that is not an acceptable excuse
Please remember: We cannot find true happiness in another! We
cannot depend on another for our inner peace. No... I take that
back... we can find happiness and peace of mind in one other.
His name is Jesus. He loves us more than life itself. And He
proved it by freely accepting a hideous death in our place. He
is always faithful and He will always take us back no matter how
unfaithful we have been. Do I hear an Alleluia out there!
- Michael Lo Piccolo bio
, Posted July 29, 2014, on the IFSB