Tag Archives: Jason Shanks

Marriage: Discovering a Sacrament

marriage_Joseph_MaryAlmost 15 years ago, before I was Catholic, I sat across a table and asked my Protestant pastor a question that would forever change my life, “What in God’s eyes defines two people as married?” Dating at the time, I wondered why one had to be married in a church, wear a ring, and say vows? Why couldn’t one be married in private between God and the couple apart from churches, pastors, friends, and witnesses? Where in the Bible did it say marriage needed to be done in such a way? My pastor’s answer astounded me. “It doesn’t.” He simply had no idea of what defined a marriage in the eyes of God. I then asked why we as Protestants do such and then I answered my own question, “It’s tradition.” Tradition! But, we don’t have tradition, we only believe what the Bible says to be true and no where does it talk about rings, vows, churches, white dresses, best men, etc. I filed this away at the time thinking I had found an inconsistency within the Protestant worldview not realizing that I had discovered a Sacrament, the Sacrament of Matrimony.

The Difference of One

Crossing the TiberEvery year at the Rite of Election in my diocese, the Bishop stands up and does an informal poll with those seeking to become Catholic at Easter.  He asks them how many of them decided to become Catholic through reading Catholic literature or hearing or seeing Catholic radio and television?  Some hands raise.  He then asks them how many of them become Catholic because of someone they know?  Every hand goes up! 

In my journey to the Catholic Church, I did much research and read books and listened to tapes–all because of one person–Biff Rocha.  While, my journey did not actually begin with Biff, he was there at a time when the questions came to a head and having been there himself was able to direct, guide, and point me to the resources and things I needed.