An Encouragement to Those Who are Married

The ordinary way to holiness and to the fullness of Christian life is marriage. Most men and women will become saints in the married state.

Married people, then instead of lamenting their supposed "lack of vocation," should highly value the vocation they have actually received. They should thank God for the fact that this vocation, with all its responsibilities and hardships, is a safe and sure way to become holy without being warped or shriveled up by pious conventionalism. The married man and the mother of a Christian family, if they are faithful to their obligations, will fulfill a mission that is as great as it is consoling: that of bringing into the world and forming young souls capable of happiness and love, souls capable of sanctification and transformation in Christ. Living in close union with God the Creator and source of life, they will understand better than others the mystery of His infinate fecundity, in which it is their privilege to share. Raising children in difficult social circumstances, they will enter perhaps more deeply into the mystery of divine Providence than others who, by their vow of poverty, ought ideally to be more directly dependent on God than they, but who in fact are never made to feel the anguish of insecurity.

-Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island


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