Last week, I read a prayer (Tobit 8:5-8), which I can’t get it out of my mind. Maybe it is because of the pending U.S. Supreme Court decisions on marriage or maybe it is because I think it is a beautiful wedding prayer, which illustrates the covenant of a Christian marriage: “by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life…ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1601)
The prayer was recited by Tobiah after marrying Sarah. Sarah had been married 7 times prior, but all her husbands were killed by the wicked demon Asmodeus who possessed Sarah. Fortunately, Tobiah, assisted by the Angel Raphael, expelled the demon (Tobit 3:8; 8:1-3).
“Blessed are you, O God of our fathers,
Praised be your name forever and ever.
Let the heavens and all creation praise you forever.
You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve to be his help and support; and from these two the human race descended.
You said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; let us make him a partner like himself.’
Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine not because of lust, but for a noble purpose. Call down your mercy on me and on her, and allow us to live together to a happy old age.
Bless us with children.
I am an imperfect husband (and Christian) living in an imperfect marriage, but like Tobiah, I pray to God to send down his mercy upon me and my wife – and all marriages – to forgive us for our shortcomings while blessing us with perseverance to build a strong marriage.
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