Thomas Luter

Sacred Vows

Remember vows?  Remember when a man was as good as his promise?

The latest statistic is that 70% of Americans are foregoing marriage and choosing to just live together. Our world has come to a frightening place indeed  - a place where not even a vow means anything.  Just over 50% of marriages end in divorce.  Read the making of vows in marriage ceremonies.  The vows are made in the presence of God and witnessed by  family and friends.  In the Orthodox church, the vows are not made to the partner but to God. 

I have a weakness.  I like to watch court cases and inevitably, when they take the stand and recite the oath that they swear to tell the truth , the whole truth, so help them God, I cry a bit inside because I know that they have no compunction about lying their way through their testimony.   Think of the OJ trial or Casey Anthony’s.  Who on earth believes that they told the whole truth and remember,  they swore "So help me God".  

Thousands upon thousands of priests and monks and nuns have sworn irrevocable vows throughout the ages and more break those sacred vows than those who keep them. 

How many times do we make vows during the course of a year.  We will gather around midnight on December 31, and for many many years we have made resolute promised to eat less, love more, drink less, pray more, swear less, pledge more and the promises are lost to the wind by the first week of February. 

I am afraid that we just have to admit that promises and solemn vows just don't mean anything any longer. In fact, very little means very much any longer.  We go to confession and earnestly say that we will go and sin no more. That one is on the wind almost as we leave the confessional. 

It is time to start wondering if anything we vocalize has much of a meaning any longer. 

If our words don't mean much, probably our lives don't either.