Madonna House

Is Your Heart Divided?

by Catherine Doherty

God is love, and where God is, love is. What role does God play in your life? And, how much do you really love him and one another? Stop and think for a moment.

For you see, marriage is a vocation, a call from God to two people to become one, to found a home, to beget, bear, and raise children; and, in this glorious and very hard vocation, to become saints themselves, and to do all that is in their power to make saints of their children.

The greatest enemy of any vocation is a divided heart. Yet how many parents have a “whole heart”? Or, to put it another way, how many parents are wholeheartedly occupied with and concerned about fulfilling this vocation of theirs, as it should be fulfilled—by serving God through it?

What do I mean by a divided heart? I certainly do not mean adultery, or obvious physical neglect of any marital or home duty. No. I simply mean trying to straddle what cannot be straddled. For instance, trying to serve God and mammon at the same time. I mean putting a premium on values that are secondary—values such as money, power, position, status in the community, or social obligations, real or imaginary.

What is the number one thing you want for your family—for yourself, for your spouse, for your children? Is it money or leisure, status or comfort or security? Or is it sanctity?

Excerpted and adapted from Nazareth Family Spirituality (2013) available from MH Publications