In all of this, I have concluded that our Catholic friends are on to something when they say that marriage is a sacrament. I may not not agree with all the theology behind such a statement, but do I believe that God meets us--God in Christ Himself--meets us in this covenant of marriage in a unique and particular way? Yes I do. I cannot read the scriptures without coming to the conclusion that God makes himself available to married persons in the covenant promise of marriage and in the journey to be faithful to that covenant. And this may sometimes be our only hopeJim explains in better words than mine what I was trying to get across in "Marriage as Monasticism":
C.S. Lewis describes his ideal life in "Surprised by Joy" as one of quiet contemplation and study. He says that there is nothing wrong with such a life except that it is completely selfish; that is directed toward improvement of the self and not others. There is a kind of sanctified grace in the business of each day in so far as it forces us to come into contact with other people. There is a kind of rest that is not far from the icy pit of Dante's hell. As Mephistopheles discovers, man is restless till he finds his rest in God. It is not a cessassion, but a consummation; not the end of motion, but the fullness of motion. To the degree that our business keeps us restless, to the degree that it forces us to consider the needs, even the very existence of others, it is a mercy that keeps us from the powers of perpetual negation.