.... after the ship has sailed?
Because that ship has sailed, (why do I find myself using that expression so often in the past weeks having never used it before in my life, so far as i can recall? Hmmmm...)
Catholic World Report has a piece on how unprepared for true marriage young Catholics are, not just when they present themselves for whatever marriage prep their parish provides, but when they are deemed "ready" to go though with the sacrament.
True, for the other sacrament of "service", ordination, we don't think a half a decade is long enough, and for marriage a couple evening? a couple weeks?
But the solution, on-going formation after the wedding is unrealistic and beyond that, TOO LATE.
We need to to member that if young people are going to choose one or the other of those two sacraments, (and odds are getting worse that they will opt for either,) the overwhelming majority will marry.
That means, EVERY Catholic child should be getting training for that vocation if he gets any religious education at all.
If formal catechesis doesn't begin with small children learning about the identity of "Domestic Church", of their family, and what marriage means, and what someday, hopefully, most of them will enter into, the Church is doomed to be playing catch up the rest of those children's lives.
There is too much tearing at the fabric of the family for Her to wait.
We put so much effort into assuring that we do not criticize or marginalize the sad exceptions among us, that normalcy is relativized, and the basic building block of society, of the Church is given short shrift.
We need to stop that.
When I was in school, a very kind bachelor teacher, or the principle whose kids were grown would offer to join one of the girls or boys in my large family when there was some kind of event with a name like "Father/Son Game Night," or "The Father-Daughter Spring Dance" being held, (never "Mother/blank," since it was a given, even as working-outside-the-home mothers were on the rise, it was still a given that mothers did most of the work, and volunteering, and dealing with school issues.)
There were other kids, who, for whatever reason, were in the same situation, and teachers, uncles, family friends were always in evidence.
Did we lobby to have the names of the event changed to something that wouldn't remind us our Father was dead? Did my Mother scream, How dare you stigmatize the families of single/divorced/widowed mothers like me!
No, she, we, they were just grateful.
Now schools try to organize things in a way that suggests fathers and mothers are the same thing, well, they'd have to be, wouldnt' they, since men and women are the same?
So yes, if we, as a Church ever want to see the turn-around that is needed, we can't wait until Emily and Joshua are ready to make it legal.
We have to start as soon as they can learn to bless themselves.