Msgr. Arnold's Column for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time; "Bonded Freedom"
At the 2012 Erie Diocesan Emmaus Convocation of priests, one of the presenters used the phrase “bonded freedom.” Technical jargon is always attached to every profession, but that was a new phrase for me. It refers to the possibilities made available to people who commit themselves to each other in a particular type of relationship called a covenant. Marriage is such a covenant.
It is a major leap in maturity when a person commits to a relationship knowing that it closes off other cherished options. The phrase made popular in the late 1960’s and ‘70’s “keeping one’s options open” meant choosing to keep the current freedom of their lifestyle and not opting for the freedom available in a more specific relationship. One writer, Ron Rolheiser, put it this way: When we are in the honeymoon stage of love with someone, we aren't so much in love with that person (though we think we are) as we are in love with love itself, with the experience of being in love, with what being in love is doing to us. We're in love with a wonderful, powerful, fiery energy inside of us. We're in love with an archetype: When John falls in love with Mary, initially he is not so much in love with Mary as he is in love what she is carrying, all of femininity, the feminine side of God. That's why when we are first in love with someone that other person alone is sufficient to take away our restlessness and loneliness. It is enough just to be with him or her. Functionally, he or she is God for us. That's why obsessions in love can be so paralyzing.
In marriage, for example, the partners joining themselves within this mutually exclusive relationship understand that their personal identity is altered forever. This becomes obvious when, after years of marriage, one partner dies sending the survivor into a mild depression.
When committed married people enter a rough patch in their relationship, ideally they start looking for a new way to keep the established relationship without the need to keep score and to allow the circumstances or contingencies surrounding their marriage to find a place lower in the hierarchy of needs. Covenant first. The maintenance of the marriage assumes a priority greater than their individual or personal freedom outside the marriage. They are opting for a freedom that is commensurate to the commitment. Threats to their marital integrity elicit a character response that lives in the house of love. In essence, the marriage is causing the parties to expand the ways their love is revealed to those who benefit from the couple’s love. The dignity and nobility of human love becomes incarnate in them and, God willing, their children. In the poetic language of the gospel reading for mass this Sunday (Mark 10: 2-16), they are allowing their hearts to be softened. One might even say that marriage requires the exchange of the hardness of heart for the hardness of will; the heart softens as the will firms to keep the commitment.
This understanding works for all covenants. For example, the healing within our country will require a nation of individuals choosing to live in bonded freedom exchanging hardness of heart for firmness of will, the will to live e pluribus unum. That means that from the diversity of many individuals, the unity of oneness is formed.
God becomes visible as people choose wholeheartedly to live in bonded freedom.
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11:00 a.m. Mass.
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All you can eat!
Sunday, October 28th.
8:30 am to 1pm
Msgr. James Gannon Auditorium.
Adults: $7. children (4-12) $4; under 4: free
Chinese Auction ..50 / 50 tickets
Weekday Masses are in The Annunciation Chapel (located in the white building by the parking lot). The Mass times in our Chapel are: 8:00 a.m. on Mon., Tues., Thurs., & Fri. There is No Wed. mass.
Saint Andrew and Saint Jude
Ken Adams; 814-440-7813
1:30-4:00pm every other Tuesday
Food and clothing are available.
We are able to serve anyone in the neighborhood within our Second Harvest boundaries and all parishioners in need.
THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH TO; GANNON UNIVERSITY, SEW WHAT SEWING GROUP & THE BOB EVANS GROUP ON UPPER PEACH ST. Your contributions mean sooooooooooo much to our clients!!
8:00 a.m. to noon
12:30 p. m. to 4:00 p. m.
Wednesday, closed all day.
Sunday: 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
Holy Day Eucharist
or as marked in bulletin