Hi, it’s me. Can we talk? Remember that homily you preached at that wedding about a year ago? You know, the one where you said in a booming voice from the pulpit,
“The purpose of marriage, really, is children.”
Yes, that’s the one. Remember how you went on and on backing up that point? Remember how at the reception later, people were telling you how great it was, how true, how important? Remember how I stood there in that circle and nodded, agreeing that you have a gift for wedding homilies?
Yes, I lied to a priest. To spare your feelings, of course.
I hated your homily that day. It wasn’t even my wedding, so why should I care?
Because it Hurt. Like. Hell.
You knew I was in the pew. You knew that I have MRKH. You knew that my husband and I will never be able to conceive. Was it your intention to say that our marriage has no purpose? That our marriage is useless? Or that maybe it’s just second class? Were you trying to make us feel unwelcome and unneeded?
It may not seem like much to you, but to me it was a complete betrayal. You’ve told us to “be happy for others” but do you realize what you’re saying?
When Jesus carried his cross, he didn’t do it with a smile. And I’ll bet that when he fell, his comfort was not in the Romans yelling at him to get up and keep moving. You wouldn’t tell Jesus to quit saying “Why have you abandoned me?” and just be happy for those people who get to not be crucified today, would you?
Now of course, I’m not Jesus. I don’t claim to be. But like him (and like you), I have a cross. We all do.
You wouldn’t tell an amputee with phantom pain to be happy for everyone who still has all of their limbs. When your friend suffers an abusive relationship, you don’t tell them to be happy for everyone whose heart was never broken. No, no one would say that because it misses the point and ignores the wounds that these people carry. We all deserve compassion and understanding. We all deserve to be loved.
We love you very much. Perhaps that is why this hurts so much.
And in case you would like a little reminder, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states (paragraph 1660) that marriage has TWO purposes: (1) the good of the spouses and (2) the generation and education of children. These are both true, and we cannot overemphasize and ignore one or the other. If children were all that mattered, then my marriage wouldn’t be valid, and IVF would be encouraged. If the spouses were all that mattered, then we wouldn’t have to be “open to life”. Both matter. Both are important.
Otherwise, our struggle is in vain.