On a “normal” Monday (I’m a single Mom of five boys. Nothing in our lives is “normal!” 😉 ) I’d talk about Sunday’s Gospel reading and how it applies to hurting families. Today, I couldn’t look at just the Gospel. Today, every reading struck me as so applicable to what so many of us are facing, so this week, I’m taking separate looks at the first reading, the responsorial Psalm, and the Gospel.
Today, we start with first message I got from reading: Isaiah 25: 6-10.
Is Divorce Worse Than Death?
The 1st Reading – Isaiah 25:6-10
Early in the reading, we are told that God will destroy death forever. What living death is more pronounced, what death is felt by more than a small group of people, what death impacts the entire society more than the destruction of the family?
I can think of none.
It has been said that divorce is worse than death. This is not at all belittling the loss of a spouse through death, but when a spouse dies, the Love his family has for him continues. Those left behind can move on in part because Love carries them through. Love helps remind them that they can Hope to meet again.
In divorce, the deserting spouse is, in many ways dead, but Love has also died. In divorce, instead of allowing the grieving spouse to move on, the deserting spouse lurks in darkness. There is no joyful anticipation of a meeting in Heaven. Instead, there is the often dreaded waiting to meet in other circumstances: an exchange of children at a location approved by the court, a tete-a-tete over financial support, daycare, and children’s activities, over holidays and vacations. Even in extreme cases, the custodial parent knows the absentee parent could show up and claim parental rights at any time. The custodial parent knows there is little he or she can do to prevent this from happening and often questions whether it would be right to prevent it even if she could. She may often find herself asking if a bad father is better than no father?
When a Good spouse dies, Loved ones laugh at jokes and silly remembrances. They look forward to holding their loved one again in Heaven. When a marriage dies, when one spouse walks away leaving his marriage and his children (even part time), there is little remembered laughter, silly jokes must be first mulled over to be sure they are not seen by the abandoned spouse or partially abandoned children as insulting to the absentee parent.
When a spouse walks away from his vows, he sins so grievously, there is no guarantee of a meeting in Heaven one day (Not that anything is guaranteed since only the Lord knows what is truly in our hearts). The spouse’s sin may prevent him from getting to Heaven (we can’t know this for sure and sincerely must Hope and Pray that it does not!), but the sins of anger and bitterness and fear can consume the abandoned spouse and prevent her from getting to Heaven too. We must be watchful of this. Satan reaches out to God’s children in our pain.
Isaiah tells us
he will destroy death forever.
The Lord GOD will wipe away
the tears from every face;
What comfort this provides to those mourning the death of a marriage, the loss of their family, the destruction of dreams, the dashing of Hopes for their future and for their children’s futures.
God will destroy death – even the living death of the recently divorced.
He will wipe tears from every face – even yours!
Please join me for tomorrow’s reflection on Isaiah 25 and how it relates to dating again after divorce. Where do you put your Hope?
Thank you and