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Title: Die Bewertung der Ehe bei Charles de Foucauld in seiner Korrespondenz mit Louis Massignon
Author(s): GRESHAKE, Gisbert
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 13    Issue: 1   Date: 2007   
Pages: 84-92
DOI: 10.2143/INT.13.1.2021303

Abstract :
The Christian tradition has valued virginity (generally speaking, and for various reasons) more highly than marriage. One exception to this point is Charles de Foucauld, who was beatified in 2005. Foucauld’s correspondence with Louis Massignon, the first significant Islam scholar of the modern period, shows that Foucauld did not simply “put up with” the fact that Massignon would not become Foucauld’s priestly successor in the Sahara, as had long been expected and awaited. Instead, Foucauld supported Massignon’s path toward marriage, and accompanied him spiritually along the way. Paul Claudel, with whom Massignon also corresponded, called the marriage – completely in line with the traditional assessment – the pursuit of “a flat and mediocre way”. For Foucauld, however, the unmarried life was not obviously superior when compared to marriage. Rather, it depended on the “will of God”, that is, on discerning and fulfilling one’s personal vocation. If one is following the call of God, one finds in marriage “the best way for one’s own sanctification, for honoring His name, for helping usher in His kingdom…for fulfilling His will on earth.” Marriage even plays a special role in the missionary work of the Church: many people are called by God, “in the holy estate of matrimony to live in the midst of the world as an example of living virtue, appointed to an apostolate which priests cannot follow – namely, to carry the light of Christ into a milieu to which priests have little or no access.”

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