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When my husband and I were dating, I tried really hard to incorporate prayer into our relationship. That’s how I met him, after all — I had prayed a St. Anne Novena with the intention of meeting my future spouse (looks like it worked!).

So when we started dating, I wanted prayer to be a major part of our relationship. I wanted it to be something we did together, something we talked about often, and something we shared with others.

This was so important to me because I was ultimately looking for a husband that would help me get to Heaven — and vice versa. Of course, I wanted the romantic fairy tale too, but my priority was Heaven — by means of love.

And it still is.

That’s why it’s so important to me now, as a married woman, to speak about marriage as the vocation that it is, and how prayer has to be a part of it.

Because marriage is more than two people entering into a civil union.

Jesus says, “Follow me,” and marriage is one of the ways we can respond to Him in that call to holiness & perfection of charity. 

So the process of discerning marriage with someone is about finding that person who can respond to Jesus’ call with you, next to you, and even for your sake — for your soul.

Samantha Schroeder writes, “Perhaps we should begin to shift our focus in the sphere of dating to the vertical dimension, concerning ourselves more so with our journey upwards, toward God. Only when “marrying up” begins to refer to committing to someone who will challenge and court you on the pathway to virtue and holiness will we begin to honor marriage for what it really is: a vocation, and not the fruit of research and investment in human resources and capital after years of test-driving compatible candidates…

Only when we begin to refer to “marrying up” as finding your better half in a personal, spiritual sense of the term can we begin to repair our damaged culture. In a culture that places utmost emphasis on the horizontal dimension of life, of material gain in the strictly worldly sense, it is no wonder that our families are breaking apart at the seams.”

We have to remember that while we live in this world, we “are not of this world.” We were created for something much more, for eternal life. Prayer prepares us for that.

And all vocations, including marriage, are a reminder of that call to follow God in a specific way, so that we may one day be united with Him forever.

You can read more by Samantha Schroeder here.

photo credit: photo credit: photo credit: saragoldsmith