Sunday, January 10, 2016

On the validity of the pre-marriage vows in the film "A Second Chance"

A Second Chance: On the validity of pre-marriage vows. Picture credit: Star Cinema [CC BY 4.0], Wikimedia Commons.

A. The Marriage Vows of Popoy and Basha

In the movie, A Second Chance, starring John Lloyd Cruz (Popoy) and Bea Alonzo (Basha), the couple decided to meet on the night before the wedding--something that Filipino custom prohibits because it is said that it would cause marriage problems in the future.  There before the altar in a church in Antipolo, Popoy made his personal vow to love Basha and she assented to it. Here's the text of the vow as heard in the trailer:

Popoy: Pangako: Mamaya huling beses na nating maghihiwalay. Ito na ang huling gabi na merong ikaw at ako. Simula bukas ang meron na lang ay tayo. Tayo habang buhay. Hindi ka na matutulog mag-iisa and hindi ka na gigising ng wala ako sa tabi mo. Ang itong mga kamay na ito hindi ko na bibitawan, ha? I will never let go ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen....

[Translation: Promise: Later would be the last time that we shall be apart. This shall be that last night that there shall be you and I. Starting tomorrow there shall only be us--us until the rest of our life. You won't anymore sleep alone and you won't wake up that I won't be beside you. And these hands I won't anymore let go--I will never let go ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen....

Basha: ...I love you, I love you, I love you....

Popoy: ...forever and ever. 

The text of the first half of their promise is similar to that in the song, Ben, sung by Michael Jackson:

Ben, the two of us need look no more
We both found what we were looking for
With a friend to call my own
I'll never be alone
...
I used to say, "I" and "me"
Now it's "us", now it's "we"
(I used to say, "I" and "me")
(Now it's "us", now it's "we")
The second half, on the other hand, is also similar in thought to If We Hold On by Diana Ross:
If we hold on together
I know our dreams will never die
Dreams see us through to forever
Where clouds roll by
For you and I

When we are out there in the dark
We'll dream about the sun
In the dark we'll feel the light
Warm our hearts...everyone


B. Are the pre-marriage vows valid as marriage vows?

Late in the film, while they were being interviewed on the state of their marriage, they were asked when was the date of their wedding. Basha gave the exact date (I think it's December 12, but I don't know the year). But Popoy corrected her, saying that he actual date is the day before when they pronounced their pre-marriage vows.


So the question now is this: are these pre-marriage personal vows valid as marriage vows? The answer is no. The Code of Canon Law states:
Can.  1108 §1. Only those marriages are valid which are contracted before the local ordinary, pastor, or a priest or deacon delegated by either of them, who assist, and before two witnesses according to the rules expressed in the following canons and without prejudice to the exceptions mentioned in cann. ⇒ 144, ⇒ 1112, §1, ⇒ 1116, and ⇒ 1127, §§1-2.
In the case of the pre-marriage vows of Popoy and Basha, these cannot constitute marriage vows because it is already defective for several reasons as enumerated by Can. 1108:
  •  There is no priest officiating the ceremony
  • There are no two witnesses


C. The pre-marriage vows of Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet also had similar pre-marriage vows. Romeo was rash in his swearing, but Juliet was more sober. If Juliet had been Basha, she would say (Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2, pp. 5-6):
Well, do not swear. Although I joy in thee,
I have no joy of this contract tonight.
It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden,
Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be
Ere one can say “It lightens.” Sweet, good night
This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath,
May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.
Good night, good night! As sweet repose and rest
Come to thy heart as that within my breast.
 That's why Juliet challenged Romeo to marry her first:
Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed.
If that thy bent of love be honorable,
Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow
By one that I’ll procure to come to thee
Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite,
And all my fortunes at thy foot I’ll lay
And follow thee my lord throughout the world.


Related Posts:


One More Chance Tagalog DVD
One More Chance Tagalog DVD
Just Married: The Catholic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First Five Years of Marriage
Just Married: The Catholic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First Five Years of Marriage
Ben
Ben
The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner [Revised Edition]: Worksheets, Checklists, Etiquette, Timelines, and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner [Revised Edition]: Worksheets, Checklists, Etiquette, Timelines, and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
<
What Brings a Marriage into Existence?: An Historical Re-examination of the Canon Law of the Latin Church
What Brings a Marriage into Existence?: An Historical Re-examination of the Canon Law of the Latin Church
William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet [Blu-ray]
William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet [Blu-ray]

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Walang Forever? Is love not forever?

Walang Forever? Is love not forever? Picture credit: "Walang Forever" by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.


A. WALANG FOREVER MOVIE
 
Last night I watched the film, Walang Forever, starring Jericho Rosales and Jennylyn Mercado. Wikipedia has provided a snippet of the story:
Mia, a celebrated writer of romantic-comedy films, is at a turning point in her life which makes it difficult for her to believe that love could last. Everything comes to a head when Ethan returns, only for her to find out that he has become a cynic of lasting love because she broke his heart. (Wikipedia: Walang Forever)
I won't provide spoilers, but here's a perfect gist of the story courtesy of a love song, Maybe This Time:
Two old friends meet again
Wearin' older faces
And talk about the places they've been

Two old sweethearts who fell apart
Somewhere long ago
How are they to know
Someday they'd meet again
And have a need for more than reminiscin'

Maybe this time
It'll be lovin' they'll find
Maybe now they can be more than just friends
She's back in his life
And it feels so right
Maybe this time, love won't end

 B. IS LOVE NOT FOREVER?

"Maybe this time, love won't end." Can love really end? Is there no such thing as forever in love?


1. Love is a feeling

If love is a feeling, then feelings end, and so can love. As the song, Feelings by Morris Albert, goes:
Feelings, nothing more than feelings
Trying to forget my feelings of love
Teardrops rolling down on my face
Trying to forget my feelings of love
Love should not be based on feelings, because feelings are  shaky like sand, so a relationship cannot be based on feelings alone. As Christ said in his parables regarding the house built on sand:
* “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.r 25The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house.s But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. 26And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. 27The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”  (Mt 7:24-27)

2. Love is a will

If love is a will--"to will the good of another," as Aquinas said--then it is possible for love to last until death through a vow before God:
In the United States, Catholic wedding vows may also take the following form:[4]

    I, ____, take you, ____, to be my lawfully wedded(husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

The priest will then say aloud "You have declared your consent before the Church. May the Lord in his goodness strengthen your consent and fill you both with his blessings. What God has joined, men must not divide. Amen."[5] (Wikipedia: Marriage Vows)

3. Love after death
 
But what about after death? Can the love of the husband and wife still exist after their death? The movie only tried to answer the possibility of love before death, of choosing to love the person even in the face of inevitable death, knowing that the beloved will die sooner, and all you have is but a few days or weeks or months, but not years. And yet the heart longs for a love that is forever, that all our hurts will be gone, and someday we shall still meet our beloved, even if that someday is more than a lifetime.

In the Lord of the Rings, there is only a hope that those who belong to the race of Mortal Men would still have a new life after death, but beyond the circles of the world, as decreed by God (Illuvatar). If this is true then love can be forever, as we can see from the dialogue of Arwen and Aragorn before the latter's death:
Arwen: But I say to you, King of the Numenorians, not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall.  As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last.  For if this indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive.
Aragorn: So it seems...But let us not be overthrown at the final test,, who of old renounced the Shadow and the Ring. In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory. Farewell!
In the New Testament, we know from Christ's words that the marriage of a husband and wife is terminated after death, yet they still exist, because our souls are eternal:
 On that day Sadducees approached him, saying that there is no resurrection.* They put this question to him, 24g saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies* without children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up descendants for his brother.’ 25Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died and, having no descendants, left his wife to his brother. 26The same happened with the second and the third, through all seven. 27Finally the woman died. 28Now at the resurrection, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had been married to her.” 29* Jesus said to them in reply, “You are misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God. 30At the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven." (Mt 22:23-30
Priest: (Name), do you take (name) to be your wife? Do you promise to be true to her in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love her and honor her all the days of your life?
Groom: I do.
Priest: (Name), do you take (name) to be your husband? Do you promise to be true to him in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love him and honor him all the days of your life?
Bride: I do.
- See more at: http://catholicweddinghelp.com/topics/catholic-wedding-vows.htm#sthash.Lkd5y382.dpuf
Because our souls are eternal with intelligence and will, and love is to will the good of another, then it is possible for souls to continue loving after death. After all, the reason why we can love forever is because God is Love. If God is forever, then so is love. In heaven, we shall behold God not only as the Greek ideal of the True, the Good, and Beautiful, but also as Love. Love is a Unity yet at the same time a Trinity: the Lover (Father), the Beloved (Son), and the Love between Them (Holy Spirit).

Merong forever because God is forever and God is love. This is the good news of Christianity: merong forever, love is forever. It is only in Atheism na walang forever: there is no forever in love. And this is sad. The tragedy of hell is not really the pain of hell fire, but the pain of loss: of knowing that Someone (God) loves us and yet we chose not to love, and our decision was made irrevocable after death. Walang forever for love in Hell, but our suffering of remorse is forever. Merong forever and ever and ever. Such a heartbreak can only be approximated by the song, Clementine:
Oh my Darling, Oh my Darling,
Oh my Darling Clementine.
You are lost and gone forever,
Dreadful sorry, Clementine.
 
Writing the Romantic Comedy
Writing the Romantic Comedy
Maybe This Time DVD (International Edition)
Maybe This Time DVD (International Edition)
Love Is Forever (1983)
Love Is Forever (1983)
Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings - Jazz Music for Romantic Moments, Falling in Love, Holding Hands, Hugs, Kisses, Love Sayings, Making Love, Mood and Soft Piano for Lovers
Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings - Jazz Music for Romantic Moments, Falling in Love, Holding Hands, Hugs, Kisses, Love Sayings, Making Love, Mood and Soft Piano for Lovers
The Knot Guide to Wedding Vows and Traditions [Revised Edition]: Readings, Rituals, Music, Dances, and Toasts
The Knot Guide to Wedding Vows and Traditions [Revised Edition]: Readings, Rituals, Music, Dances, and Toasts
The Wedding Dress: How to Make the Perfect One for You
The Wedding Dress: How to Make the Perfect One for You
A Walk to Remember
A Walk to Remember
LORD OF THE RINGS RETURN OF THE KING MOVIE POSTER 2 Sided ORIGINAL ARWEN 27x40
LORD OF THE RINGS RETURN OF THE KING MOVIE POSTER 2 Sided ORIGINAL ARWEN 27x40
The Unchanging God of Love: Thomas Aquinas and Contemporary Theology on Divine Immutability, Second Edition
The Unchanging God of Love: Thomas Aquinas and Contemporary Theology on Divine Immutability, Second Edition

The Sphinx in the Zodiac Cycle: From Mary (Virgo) to Christ (Leo)

The Sphinx: From Mary (Virgo) to Christ. Picture credit: "Museo Egizio di Torino-631 o" by Tim Adams - worldisround.com. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

Today, 1 January 2015, is the Feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.  Today is also the start of the New Year. It is fitting then that the year should start with Mary and end with the Birth of Christ.

When I was in College, I read a book on Our Lady of Guadalupe entitled, The Last Gospel: The Miracle and Theology of the Holy Tilma. One of the points raised in the book is that the Sphinx, which has the head of a woman and the body of a lion, actually describes the beginning and the end of the Zodiac cycle: it begins with Virgo the Virgin and ends with Leo the Lion. These two constellations correspond to two things in Our Lady's tilma: the Mary's virginal heart and the fruit of her womb, Jesus.

Constellations Virgo and Leo in the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Picture credit: Monastery Icons.

Let us now meditate on the Biblical meanings of the constellations Virgo and Leo in connection with Mary and Christ.

A. Virgo and the Virgin Mary

In the Book of Isaiah we read:
Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz: Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as Sheol, or high as the sky!* 12But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!”* 13Then he said: Listen, house of David! Is it not enough that you weary human beings? Must you also weary my God? 14Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign;* the young woman, pregnant and about to bear a son, shall name him Emmanuel. (Is 7:10-14)
The immediate fulfillment of the prophecy is the destruction of the enemies of Judah, the Kings of Aram and Israel, within a few years after the birth of Emmanuel:
Curds and honey he will eat so that he may learn to reject evil and choose good; 16for before the child learns to reject evil and choose good, the land of those two kings whom you dread shall be deserted. (Is 7:15-16)
But God is preparing for another sign which is truly as deep as Sheol and as high as the sky: the Virgin Birth of Christ who is both truly God and truly Man. That is why in Christ, God is truly with us, the Emmanuel:
Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord* appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. 21She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,* because he will save his people from their sins.” 22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:

23* k “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.” (Mt 1:20-23)
For this reason, the Catholic Church declares the Dogma of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary. St. John Paul II explained this in his catechesis:


Mary is virgin before, during and after giving birth
2. In a brief formula, the Church traditionally presents Mary as "virgin before, during and after giving birth", affirming, by indicating these three moments, that she never ceased to be a virgin.
Of the three, the affirmation of her virginity "before giving birth" is, undoubtedly, the most important, because it refers to Jesus' conception and directly touches the very mystery of the Incarnation. From the beginning it has been constantly present in the Church's belief.
Her virginity "during and after giving birth", although implicit in the title virgin already attributed to Mary from the Church's earliest days, became the object of deep doctrinal study since some began explicitly to cast doubts on it. Pope St Hormisdas explains that "the Son of God became Son of man, born in time in the manner of a man, opening his mother's womb to birth [cf. Lk 2:23] and, through God's power, not dissolving his mother's virginity" (DS 368). This doctrine was confirmed by the Second Vatican Council, which states that the firstborn Son of Mary "did not diminish his Mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it" (Lumen gentium, n. 57). As regards her virginity after the birth, it must first of all be pointed out that there are no reasons for thinking that the will to remain a virgin, which Mary expressed at the moment of the Annunciation (cf. Lk 1:34) was then changed. Moreover, the immediate meaning of the words: "Woman, behold, your son!", "Behold, your mother" (Jn 19:26), which Jesus addressed to Mary and to his favourite disciple from the Cross, imply that Mary had no other children. (EWTN, from L'Osservatore Romano)
B. Leo and Christ the Lion

In the book of Revelation, we read:
I shed many tears because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to examine it. 5One of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. The lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David,* has triumphed, enabling him to open the scroll with its seven seals.”b

6Then I saw standing in the midst of the throne and the four living creatures and the elders, a Lamb* that seemed to have been slain. He had seven horns and seven eyes; these are the [seven] spirits of God sent out into the whole world.c 7He came and received the scroll from the right hand of the one who sat on the throne.  (Rev 5:5-7)
To understand who this Lion of Judah is, we go back to the prophecy of Jacob (Israel) regarding his son Judah:
    "You, Judah, shall your brothers praise --your hand on the neck of your enemies; the sons of your father shall bow down to you.
9 Judah, like a lion's whelp, you have grown up on prey, my son. He crushes like a lion recumbent, the king of beasts--who would dare rouse him? 10 2 The scepter shall never depart from Judah, or the mace from between his legs, While tribute is brought to him, and he receives the people's homage. 11 3 He tethers his donkey to the vine, his purebred ass to the choicest stem. In wine he washes his garments his robe in the blood of grapes. 12 His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth are whiter than milk." (Gen 49:8-12)
From this it is clear that the Lion of Judah refers to Christ for three reasons. First, the Angel Gabriel told Mary that her child would inherit the Kingship of David his father:
Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31n Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. 32o He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,* and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, 33and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”p (Lk 1:30-33)
That is why, as a sign of his claiming the throne of David, Jesus rides a donkey to Jerusalem in the same way as when Solomon was proclaimed king:
So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and Pelethites* went down, and mounting Solomon on King David’s mule, escorted him to Gihon. 39Then Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon. They blew the ram’s horn and all the people shouted, “Long live King Solomon!” 40Then all the people went up after him, playing flutes and rejoicing so much the earth split with their shouting.  (1 Kgs 1:38-40)

The disciples went and did as Jesus had ordered them. 7* They brought the ass and the colt and laid their cloaks over them, and he sat upon them. 8* c The very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and strewed them on the road. 9d The crowds preceding him and those following kept crying out and saying: “Hosanna* to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest.” (Mt 21:6-9)
C. Conclusions

 The sphinx represents the beginning and end of the Zodiac cycle: Virgo and Leo, which corresponds to Mary's Heart and Womb in the icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Virgo  corresponds to Mary while Leo corresponds to Christ. Mary is Virgo or the Ever-Virgin prophesied in Isaiah who shall bring forth the Emmanuel: Christ Who is both God and Man. Mary is Ever-Virgin, because she was virgin when she conceived Christ in her womb and she was a virgin when she gave birth to Him. On the other hand, Christ is Leo or the Lion from the tribe of Judah in the Book of Revelation, which is a fulfillment of the prophecy of the Jacob that from Judah shall arise a king who shall reign forever, as announced by the Angel Gabriel to Mary and Joseph. Similar to what happened during the proclamation of King Solomon as King as prescribed by David, Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on and ass and colt, as the people cried out hosanna to the Son of David.


Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Last Gospel: The Miracle and Theology of the Holy Tilma
Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Last Gospel: The Miracle and Theology of the Holy Tilma
A Handbook on Guadalupe
A Handbook on Guadalupe
Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy: From Doctors Who Are Parents, Too!
Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy: From Doctors Who Are Parents, Too!
The Life and Glories of St. Joseph
The Life and Glories of St. Joseph
The Gospel Truth About Mary Volume II: Mary's Perpetual Virginity and Assumption 6 Disc Audio CD Set
The Gospel Truth About Mary Volume II: Mary's Perpetual Virginity and Assumption 6 Disc Audio CD Set
Revelation (Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture)
Revelation (Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture)
Aslan Statue from Chronicles of Narnia
Aslan Statue from Chronicles of Narnia
24x36 Poster; Jesus Christ Entry To Jerusalem By Lipo Memmi 14Th Century
24x36 Poster; Jesus Christ Entry To Jerusalem By Lipo Memmi 14Th Century
Sphinx Trinket Box Collectible Figurine
Sphinx Trinket Box Collectible Figurine