Dark Clouds and Silver Linings


I'm sorry, I couldn't come up with a better title for this post. Titles aren't my forte anyway.

Throughout my schoolyears, I had constantly fluctuating grades that went between failing and mediocre. Now, as anybody who knows me can attest, this was in no way due to my lack of knowledge as it was to my stupidity via my refusal to do the work required. Throughout the years of fluctuating grades, I always made a point to focus on the good grades that I was getting whenever I had to present another bad report card to my parents. "Sure, I'm failing math and science, but look how well I'm doing in English and PE!" Such would be my response in the face of impending doom.

While it certainly was a poor way of weaseling out of bad situations, it did give me the gift to look at the good during situations that went very badly. This allows me to tap into that infinite source of Hope that is prayer and not worry so much when things fall apart.

So, why bring this up? It seems to me that there is a lot of worry out there in St. Blog's parish. Worry, tinged with a bit of fear and a few dashes of despair and betrayal over Bud and Bai MacFarlane's marriage. Bud and Bai seemed like the 'perfect' Catholic marriage. They apparently practiced NFP, had four kids, their whole family was consecrated to Mary and every single one of them is in the Militia Immaculatae. Their apostolate has brought many to Christ and His Church, and they seemed to be beacons of Christian virtue.

I learned about the divorce through the Militia Immaculata mailing list on Catholicity. The results were mixed. Some went immediately to prayer, others accused the bearers of bad news of 'spreading malicious rumours'. When I responded that I wouldn't be surprised if the news were true, they told me that it was impossible because Bud was an E5 man and so on and so forth. There are times when I dislike being right, and this was certainly one of them. If you're asking why I wasn't surprised by the news, my friend Martin said it better than I could. He said, "Satan always attacks the good guys in the Church."

Some have expressed fear over their own marriages, they feel betrayal from models they held in high regaurd. They ask themselves, "What chance do my husband and I have if Bud and Bai can't stay together?" Or, "If Bud could change, so could I." Sentences of fear and hurt that one is prone to give into. Well, to all of that fear, I say, "Hogwash!"

I believe in a God who tells me not to fear anything! Especially the things that go wrong in this world. God grants great graces in the sacrament of marriage. He loves marriage and that is evident because that is the first sacrament that He gave to man. It is the sacrament that imitates the Trinity, that sets the model for the Church, which is the bride of Christ. I believe in the graces of marriage so strongly that I feel I can only reverence the sacrament by becoming a priest. Brothers and sisters, especially those of you who are married or seeking the vocation of marriage, I repeat the words so often found in the Bible which our Holy Father first spoke as pope, "Be not afraid!" Cooperate with the graces that God has given you in your marriages, continue to thank God each day for your families and continue to be models for your children. What chance do you have? Every chance that is being afforded to you through the sacrament! If you're truly worried that you may change like Bud has, then, let him serve as a warning to you. Know that there are very few things that are assured in this world, especially the works of men.

What went wrong with the MacFarlanes? I think that Bud made the Mary foundation more of a business than an apostolate. He consumed himself with work that took him away from his family. This gave time for the devil to slowly eat away at his mind. Things didn't change overnight. No, it was slow and gradual, and Bai didn't see it coming until one day Bud moved out of the house and served her with divorce papers.We assume that they prayed the rosary daily, that he was an E5 man who prayed for his wife. This was true at first, but I assure you things changed slowly and his priorities changed. "Oh honey, I have to balance the account for the Foundation tonight. Lead the rosary without me." The warning that Bud really gives us is Don't lose focus on what's important. If Bud truly cared about his family, he would have been willing to even let the Mary Foundation fail before he walked out on his wife. Now, the site is stripped of any mention of his wife and kids. His picture looks incredibly pathetic and lonely. I may be making assumptions, but I think they are made safely.

Don't doubt the sacraments, especially marriage. God loves marriage. Why do you think Satan attacks it so relentlessly in our time? This is no time to be doubting the sacrament, but to take our marriages and be the living icons of the Holy Family to this fallen world. Pray for each other. Pray for your own family and the families of those you know. Pray for the graces of marriage to flood the earth and cleanse away the evil that Satan has put against it.

Still you may ask, "What good can come of this? What good can come from Bud and Bai splitting?" Hah! "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" (John 1:46 RSV) Now, I thank God for my gift, because I do see good in this. As Philip said to Nathanael, "Come and see."

After we heard the news that Bud and Bai split:

-- The Knights of Immaculatae called for a 54 day Rosary novena on behalf of the marriage.

-- The parish of St. Blogs has constantly called eachother to pray

-- God willing, the strengthening of marriage laws could become a new focus of the Mary Foundation, be it God's will that Bud and Bai reconcile


-- God will use Bai to bring attention to the terrible suffering being inflicted on the sacrament and those who fight for it.

There is hope. There is hope for you, and me, and I believe even for Bud and Bai. Continue to pray, cease worrying.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Robert Diaz, MI published on March 25, 2004 5:13 PM.

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