Home, An Abode of Peace

Fr. Varghese Paul, SJ

Some times back a young mother came to meet me. She complaint that her husband is harassing her and there is no eace in her home. There is no peace of mind. The atmosphere at home is so tense that its effects are felt even at the place of her job. The mind does not get concentrated on anything.

“Father, what shall I do now?” the young mother asked me.

I listened to the woman’s story with keen attention. He has reached at the end of her rope. She even contemplated suicide. I know her husband. The young couple after many years’ of courtship got their marriage finally registered in a civil court. The families of both the young man and the young woman opposed there inter caste marriage. They lived a few years a very happy married life. They have a six year old girl as the proof of their happy married life. But now they ware at the loggerheads.

One big draw back of people is their tendency to forget the good things of their partners. But they always remember and recall the defects and evil things of their partners! We can see this reality in the relationship of husband and wife or in the business partners even among two friends. After quarrels between two close friends everything goes wrong between then. They find fault with anything and everything with their partners.

When the love-relationship is spoilt between husband and wife a wall of differences of opinion comes up. The wall is built by remembered and recollected faults, defects and evils, Hed by the opposite partner at supper computer speed. At the same time the person forgets or consider as insignificant all the good things and the virtues of the other partner.

This situation also brings deep suffering and depression to the person. The book of Lamentations in the Bible brings this state of mind in a telling way. “The thought of my pain my homelessness, is bitter poison; I think of it constantly and my spirit is depressed.” (Lem. 3, 19-20).

These sufferings and bitter memories affect a person like poison in the body and mind. A person is traumatised. S/he feels all roads closed before her/him. There is one, very affect medicine to combat the situation. It is the medicine of love. The awareness of God’s unconditional love for her/him brings a person out of any and every difficult situation. That love is so powerful that by recognizing and accepting that love a person is inspired and is able to love and forgive the opposite partner.

I believe that there is no power in the world like the power of love. The young mother who came to me has experienced that love in the past. The experience of unparallel power of love helped her to go and get married to the young man whom her parents and community did not accept. She had committed her self totally to the man whom she sees now as her bete noire. That young man too once committed him self totally to love and serve the young lady.’

The persons contracting love marriage and forming a family must know that they have the power and the ability to make their family life the havenless Garden of Eden or turn it into a hell. But the family life under holy sacrament of matrimony is not for creating and experience the hell on earth but for creating and living ineffable happiness of heaven or earth.

The young woman who came to see and her husband are now well aware of the destructive forces at work in destroying their blissful happiness and family life. Those forces or the agents of hell are the self pride, egoism, mutual distrust, habit of insulting one’s life-partner, back of love and concern for submitting and serving one another, lack of humility and finally cheating on one another on small things.

I am confident that by becoming aware of these evil forces at work in their lives, the young couple will be able to overcome the enemity they now feel for one another. They need to cultivate consciously thoughts of love and positive thinking. They can certainly become the lovers which they were in the past. With patience and understanding they can overcome their hate red and enemity towards one another. They can once more make their family life happy and successful.

In the history we find many couples that have made their married life very happy and blissful. The story of Winston Churchill is well known. The former Prime Minister of England was leading a quiet retired life. Then, a reporter asked Churchill, “Mr. Churchill, if you are born again on this earth what would you life to become?”

“My great desire in my new birth on earth would be that I become again the husband of my wife,” said Churchill with a smile. For Churchill his family was a heaven on earth. For, he always made consistent efforts to make his family happy and contented. He always behaved with his wife with love and respect. Similarly Churchill’s wife too behaved always with great love and respect for him. So they both shared one-another happiness and suffering, success and failures. They stood by one another in all occasions and in every situation.

Christians know that in the story of the Eden Garden the force of destroying the (family) life of Adam and Eve was their selfish desire the selfish desire to become Gods. Instead of putting their trust in God and live by living one another, they succeed to the great desire of their selfishness. In their desire to become Gods they became the victim of the devil’s temptation and they lost the Garden of Eden!

Most people of today too have lost the Garden of Eden by destroying their happy married family life like the young couple that provoked me to write this article. Still, I am happy to note that there is many happy families even today who makes their family experience the happy bliss of the Garden of Eden. I know a few such couple that makes their family life a heaven on earth.

I recall here the story of Abert Einstein and his wife Milva Merik which I read some where. When the couple were celebrating the golden jubilee of the marriage someone asked Einst.

“Sir, what is the secret of your happy and successful life?”

“When we got married we made a decision. That decision was I would take all major decisions affecting our married life and my wife will take all small and minor decisions. These decisions are the secret of our successful married life,” said Einstein.

Then, after a short pause of silence Einstein added, “during the last fifty years of our happy married life, I never took any major decision and that is the interesting secret of our happy married life.” That is to say, Einstein and his wife made all their decisions of family life with mutual sympathy and understanding.

In our time too happy and successful families like that of Einstein is not rare. But the number of families where mutual trust and understanding exist between husband and wife are on the decrease. Still I am confident that the families like that young couple, will be able to make their family life happy and successful if they make the efforts to build up their family with mutual trust and understanding. That young couple has the capacity to build up a happy and successful family life to the envy of others. That is also the challenge for them.

Finally, an ideal family is an abode of peace for all the members. So everyone especially the husband and wife need to be alert about the forces which comes to interrupt the peace and happiness of a family. If anything happens in a family which might interface with the happiness and peace then the concerned persons with forgiveness and understanding need to dialogue and find solution to the problem. If needed, the persons should be open to seek the help of a third person who is competent to handle the persons and their problems. In a family everyone need to make the efforts to make one’s family a happy and peaceful family.