"My God, I am too ashamed and confounded to raise my face to You, O my God, for our wicked deeds are heaped up above our heads and our guilt reaches up to heaven." —Ezra 9:6
When Ezra heard "this thing," he tore his cloak and mantle, plucked hair from his "head and beard, and sat there stupefied" (Ezra 9:3). Ezra fell on his knees and stretched out his hands to the Lord. Why was Ezra traumatized? It was because both Israelite laymen and priests married non-Israelite wives. Ezra knew they were doomed by entering into "mixed marriages."
If Ezra were alive today, he would probably immediately drop dead from so many "mixed marriages." Although the couple has obvious problems when a Catholic and Protestant marry, that marriage is not as "mixed" or as mixed up as when a Christian marries a nonbeliever or a non-practicing Christian, even if the spouse is technically in the same denomination.
Even when a practicing Catholic marries a non-practicing Catholic, we have reason to act like Ezra. Something is very wrong. How could someone in love with Jesus marry someone not in love with Jesus! If a Christian can't share Christ with his or her spouse, why get married? We must have a committed relationship with the Bridegroom Jesus (see Mk 2:19) before having a relationship with any other bride or groom.
Prayer: Father, may every married person be married to Your Son.
Promise: "Jesus now called the Twelve together and gave them power and authority to overcome all demons and to cure diseases." —Lk 9:1
Praise: St. Pio overcame demons and cured diseases by the power of God.
(For a related teaching, order our tape Sacrament of Matrimony on audio AV 1B-1 or video V-1B.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from August 1, 2009 through September 30, 2009. †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 11, 2009.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.