Remain Calm: The Victory of Marriage Comes Through Its Crucifixion

Notice whom Christ is raising from the dead here in this classic icon of Easter Sunday: it’s the first married couple. Marriage has been under attack since the beginning. It’s nothing new. And Christ always raises it up.

In light of last week’s Supreme Court decision, which effectively legalized same-sex “marriage” nationwide, it may seem like marriage is facing unweatherable storms, and that Christ is asleep on the boat. The temptation to despair or “freak out” like the disciples on the stormy sea is understandable, but let us never forget: God is in control and, in the end, the truth is always victorious. “Do not let your hearts be troubled” (Jn 14:1). Remain calm. Nothing should shake our peace.

How can we remain calm when all seems so dark? By remembering and trusting with total confidence in God’s method of victory: victory comes through death and resurrection. In fact, God reveals the full truth about marriage precisely in and through the Cross.

As so many saints have attested throughout history, the Cross is where Christ the Bridegroom consummates his marriage with the Church, his Bride. We must ponder this, we must let this sink in if we are to understand properly what is happening in our world today: marriage, it would seem, is going the way of its crucified exemplar. It’s being mocked, rejected, spat upon, scourged, and nailed to a tree.  But give it “three days” and watch what happens.

“On the third day, there was a wedding in Cana” (Jn 2:1). Jesus and Mary are always about the business of restoring God’s wine to man and woman’s relationship, but it comes through the pierced side of the Bridegroom and the “yes” of the Bride, the “woman” at the foot of the Cross. Setting our gaze here, remaining here at the “marriage bed of the Cross” is what will properly orient us amidst all the craziness now unfolding.

Our world today talks a big line about sexual orientation, but the most fundamental orientation of sexuality is to point us to the death and resurrection of Christ. Recall the eclipse of the sun that took place on Good Friday (see Lk 23:45). Is the truth of marriage not experiencing a similar eclipse? But here’s our sure hope: Sun-day is not far off. When “the third day” dawns, marriage will be resurrected and the truth of our sexuality will shine like the sun! The world will see the light and be re-orient-ed.

That’s what the sun does: it orients us. That’s why the Bride (the Church) traditionally prays her liturgy towards the East (the Orient), because the rising of the sun, as the psalmist says, is the symbol of the coming of the Bridegroom (see Ps 19:5). And when the Bridegroom comes, “nothing will be concealed from its burning heat” (Ps 19:6). The world will see the glory of God revealed through the theology of the human body.

This is God’s promise. We can count on it. It’s literally written in the stars. And this is what gives us hope in the midst of this present darkness. As surely as night turns to day, the truth about marriage will appear on the horizon and light up the earth.

Now, it is true, we must suffer the eclipse. And I’m guessing things will get darker before they get brighter. Yet, as St. Paul reminds us, we should consider the sufferings we must now endure as nothing compared to the glory to be revealed (see Rom 8:18). Be not afraid! “Weeping comes in the night; but at dawn there is rejoicing” (Ps 30:6)!

(Article used with permission from The Cor Project)


CWest1Christopher West’s new, best-selling eBook, Pope Francis To Go: Bite-Sized Morsels from The Joy of the Gospel, is now available through Christopher is known throughout the world for his work popularizing the theology of St. John Paul II. He is founder and president of The Cor Project. He will also be leading a Footsteps of St. John Paul II pilgrimage of Poland Aug. 20-29. Details can be found here, or one can register by calling 800-842-4842.


  1. So……….. Marriage is a Crucifixion? I suppose we can forget about Cake, dancing and garter belts at wedding receptions then lol.

    By Brokenhearted | 6 years ago Reply
  2. The scariest aspect of Marriage is the Marriage Bed. Nothing else compares to that. Because we live in such a fallen Wolrd and are surrounded by even more fallen people, Sex in Marriage is more of a Cross than ever. The Cross and Marriage bed have more in common than anyone realizes. It is on that structure that one lays down upon, naked, completely and utterly exposed to the one who loves you most. However, how do you know that going in? Sadly, for too many people, the first time they have sex is the last time they have it selflessly and with Charity. They stop all sense of giving or exploration at the Climatic end. They refuse to dive deeper into the person they love and instead seek that Feeling of the Flesh. So Sex is something to fear in Marriage, just like Jesus was afraid the night before his Passion.

    It’s like a Safecracker. Once they crack the Safe and loot whatever is inside, the safe is an afterthought. They’re already planning their escape, how they will spend the loot, it’s all about them. And the Safe is left open, abandoned.

    Even the most Chaste of us physically can be the least Chaste of us Emotionally and Mentally. Chastity is not a Contractual Obligation to Wedded Bliss, completel sacrifice and Love! Chastity is a Command by our Lord, but it is not a guarentee to Love, acceptance or respect. It’s up to the people in that relationship, as to whether they will seek Purity of Mind, Heart and Soul, as well as Body and to always place Christ and his Cross in the Marriage Bed, so no one is used, no one is hurt, no one is made to feel undignified or inferior.

    By James | 6 years ago Reply
  3. I thought the line “all seems so dark” really spoke to my heart. Historically, the last time the Church was the law, it was actually called “The Dark Ages”. We should pray for that again. The metaphor grabbing, icon referencing, and desperate justification should bring lots of comfort to those who long to oppress.

    By Rachel | 6 years ago Reply
  4. I’ve been bombarded by the thought of this matter, but your article is an assurance that victory is already with us and will remain with us.

    “marriage, it would seem, is going the way of its crucified exemplar. It’s being mocked, rejected, spat upon, scourged, and nailed to a tree. But give it “three days” and watch what happens.”

    I am excited of how the Lord shall transform what’s around us and what’s in us in the next days.

    By An | 6 years ago Reply
  5. It is abundantly clear that modernism has done a number on our culture. When Formal and Final Cause is abandoned, all we are left with is cause and effect (Efficient and Material Cause), but no fixed purpose that leads us to our ultimate destiny: to be in union with the Holy Trinity. Humans seeks other purposes, and repurpose nature in order to control it. How that will play out is probably best predicted by looking at atomic energy. We have repurposed it to boil water to run electric turbines, and to destroy cities. Its more benign uses, in radiology and cancer research, pales in comparison to its absurd uses. So it goes with repurposing traditional marriage. It seems benign to open up marriage to anyone who is in love, but the darker side of it is that no one is speaking of the rights of children. The decision speaks of the children of same-sex couples. This is absurd. There are no children of same-sex couples. There are only children being raised without their mother or father present in their lives, or their father is a sperm donor. Just as in abortion, the needs of adults trump those of those who have no voice. No child, even if they are a product of unnatural procreation, is a mistake. But the reality of this development of modernism is that the right of a child to be raised in a home with both their parents takes a back seat to the desires of adults. Unfortunately for those who seek to repurpose marriage, their project masks their actual need, which is their eternal destiny. I would differ with your first commenter. We are in the Dark Ages, where the blind lead the blind into an epicurean world of satisfaction at the expense of the weakest amongst us. That is true oppression. I take comfort in the fact that, just as we will some day realize through the uncomfortable accumulation of nuclear waste (where are we going to put this stuff?), that repurposing nature has limits, so we will understand that even those with SSA are called to chastity, and an eternal nuptial relationship with God, which will make anything we could ever desire appear as straw. We will have to endure the real Dark Ages first.

    By David | 6 years ago Reply
  6. Great article. Thank you.

    By Fran | 6 years ago Reply
  7. I liked your piece very much, especially about the eclipse on Good Friday, and what is being eclipsed now.

    Lord forgive us.

    By Ann McLean | 6 years ago Reply
  8. I just want to say I’m going to be attending you’re talk on may 12th and I’m super excited!

    By MiKayla Searles | 6 years ago Reply

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