Since Oct 18, 2003
Program for Divorced Catholics:
by Fr. Donald Miller, c.ss.r.
Published 1962 by Liguorian Pamphlets
Imprimatur: St. Louis, 7 September 1962; Joseph Cardinal Ritter, Archbishop of St. Louis
Divorce is one of the greatest evils of our times. Everything possible must be done to stop its ravages upon the solidity of the family. This does not mean that divorced persons, whether guilty or innocent, must be spiritually neglected. They can and must still save their souls. To do so, this is the program they should follow.
PROGRAM FOR DIVORCED CATHOLICS
There are a great many divorced Catholics in the United States today. Their position is a difficult one because of the wrong attitudes many other Catholics have toward them, because of the sinful pressures to which others often subject them, and, above all, because of the problems they themselves must face in trying to lead Christian lives and to save their immortal souls.
For these reasons divorced persons need a definite program or plan of living that will contain clear statements of what is wrong for them and positive recommendations of what will make their task of living up to Gods will for them as easy as possible. This is an effort to provide such a program or plan. At the same time it may help other Catholics form a right attitude and practice real charity toward divorced acquaintances and friends.
There are many kinds of divorced Catholics among both men and women. The only ones excluded from consideration here are those for whom there is no solid reason against their going back to living with their lawful spouse. A divorced Catholic who can, without undue harm to body or soul, resume married life with the partner he (or she) promised before God to accept as a spouse until death, and who would be reaccepted by that partner, is bound to take whatever steps are necessary for a reconciliation. This is a matter of obligation.
Among those who are waiting and praying for the grace to reconcile with their spouses, this program will involve three things: 1) the right attitude and conduct toward God; 2) the right attitude toward themselves; 3) the right attitude toward other people.
Uniformity with God’s Will
St. Alphonsus de Ligouri
Who knows ? Perhaps if God had given us greater talent, better health, a more personable appearence, we might have lost our souls! Great talent and knowledge have caused many to be puffed up with the idea of their own importance and, in their pride, they have despised others. How easily those who have these gifts fall into these dangers to their salvation! How many on account of physical beauty or robust health have plunged headlong into a life of debauchery! How many, on the contrary, by reason of poverty, infirmity or physical deformity, have become saints and have saved their souls, who, given health, wealth or physical attractiveness had else lost their souls! Let us then be content with what God has given us. “But one thing is necessary,” and it is not beauty, not health, not talent. It is the salvation of our immortal souls.
“Perfection is founded entirely on the love of God: `Charity is the bond of perfection;’ and perfect love of God means the complete union of our will with God’s.”