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For My Salvation

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Written by Basil on 03/16/2005 9:01 PM. Filed under:

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In the Orthodox Catholic tradition, marriage is not a sanction for sexual relations. Rather, it is the transfiguration of the relationship between a man and a woman. Sexuality is transfigured from a merely animal act of procreation to a spiritual communion which transfigures husband and wife. The Apostle Paul links the union of a wife with her husband to the union of the Church with Christ. Marriage is not simply a recognition of sexual relations; it is a sacrament. As a sacrament, it is an efficient means of grace by which husband and wife are saved. They are given to each other as the means for the other’s salvation.

With all my heart, I desire marriage as a saving communion. I would say that I need it, but the truth is that I do not. I must admit to myself that I possess everything I need at this moment for my salvation. God has given me everything that I need at this moment to be saved.

Presently this recognition is entirely intellectual. I am not so holy that I actually trust God to give me what I need. I know what I need, so I think, and God is either mistaken or sadistic for witholding what I know myself to need.

Such is the depth of my blasphemy and despair. Ironically, the situation will never change until I accept what God has given me. So I am told.

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3 Responses to “For My Salvation”

  1. pete Says:


    I feel for you–the desire to be in that relationship is powerful, at times painful, if you are not in it. I am encouraged, though, that you are turning this over in your thoughts and examining it in the light of faith. It seems to me a far better thing to be growing in your faith by yourself than not doing so with another–obviously, the two situations aren’t mutually exclusive, but I hope you see what I mean. I knew (and you probably did too) too many people from college whose chief desire was to find a mate, but who are now divorced or (perhaps worse) in abusive/empty/painful marriages.

    I’m not going to paint you a Thomas Kinkade picture here: I know that this is, as many times in our life on earth will be, a season of sadness for you. I want to encourage you to experience this season fully. Drink deep of the loneliness, and feel the presence of Christ in your Gethsemani, for He is there with you.

    Be blessed today.

  2. Johanna Says:

    My iconography teacher talks about “the martyrdom of marriage” which I think is very interesting, & true. Food for thought…

  3. Basil Says:

    Yes. The crowns the bride and groom wear during the marriage service are the “crowns of martyrdom.” It is exactly this insight that makes Christian marriage so different, I think. St. John Chrysostom has much to say vis a vis St. Paul on the subject of mutual self-denial for the sake of one’s spouse.