SBPCLC and mariage
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 house!"
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 for infidelity.
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 External link, Posted July 29, 2014, on the IFSB discussion group.