Deacons and Marriage

I’d like to quote Herbert Vorgrimler in his book,  Sacramental Theology, (pg. 27o):  

“… all that a deacon does is done as a member of the hierarchy, of the clerus; whether married or not, the deacon makes it clear that the liturgy must have concrete consequences in the world with all its needs, and that work in the world that is done in the spirit of charity has a spiritual dimension.  Sacramental ordination asks for and effects in deacons the grace to perform this service.” (Italics are author’s)

Vorgrimler says that all we do is done as a member of the hierarchy. It is so tempting at times to compartmentalize our lives as deacons — “diaconate ministry”  from “occupational responsibilities” from “family responsibilities”.  If we fall into that trap, we betray our identities and we fragment our vocations, doing harm to all three aspects of our lives.

There are profound implications here for diaconal spirituality when it becomes identified with marital spirituality, as it is  for most deacons.  The richness of this has only begun to be explored by the theologians  (at least in contrast to the vast writings and thought on Holy Orders and celibacy).

To be a married deacon is in some way a calling to more fully and deeply understood marital spirituality.  A call to the diaconate after marriage can only be well understood if it is seen as a divine call to a form of marital spirituality that not only plummets the mysterious depths of our relationship with our wives but arises from its foundation.  Our marriages are transformed and necessarily are called to new heights.  After ordination, we love and communicate and give ourselves to our wives as clerics, as deacons, as Icons of Jesus the Servant. 

How then does the grace of ordination affect our wives,  for we are in marriage no longer two, but one?

Try to wrap your mind around this.  A lot to apprehend and appreciate.  A lot for which to be grateful. A great source for meditation and prayer.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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