Cornelia HAYES, Verheiratete Heilige: Anregungen zur Ehe als Weg der Heiligkeit

Abstract: The maried saints: incentive for marriage as a way to holiness. In order to recognize the special dignity of marriage as a path to holiness, Christ’s own imposition of a ‘hatred’ (that also encompasses one’s family) as condition for true discipleship must be taken into account. Framing this ‘hatred’ in terms of a proper way of prioritizing one’s obedience to Christ, this essay structures its survey of characteristic lives of married saints along three dimensions of confession, through which such obedience can be realized:Confession to a hostile social environment, to God Himself, and to one’s spouse. Thus marriage as a preparation for martyrdom (or confessorship) is distinguished from marriage as a setting for the Divine therapies of asceticism, and from marriage as a space for integrating spouses’ love into the Divine love. The conclusion returns to the issue of ‘discipleship-hatred’ in view of the unfortunately most frequent, situation of spouses’ spiritual disunity. Here the seemingly ambiguous model provided by some saintly lives calls for a more precise understanding of Christ’s demand. Discipleship is thus interpreted as involving a rejection of, and inner separation from, that worldliness in oneself and one’s marriage partner, which resists God’s deifying grace. On this basis, the common roots of monastic and marital paths to holiness can be appreciated.