The only apostle, however, that was way too attached to the world and all it offered was Judas Iscariot. John's gospel tells us that he held the money purse for the apostles and Jesus. And, Judas would often help himself to the money to buy his own personal effects. In essence, he was a thief. He was too much in love with power and money. This would be his downfall. His love for these things kept him from totally following Our Lord.
In our world today, following Christ can be very difficult. We live in a materialistic, secularist society which governs our moral decisions and how we practice our Catholic faith. How many Catholics feel it is perfectly acceptable to miss Sunday mass for the purpose of spending an entire day lounging at the beach or playing 18 holes at a golf course? Faith is considered an afterthought. Look how quickly people leave mass! In some parishes half of the congregation has exited the church by the time communion is over!
When we examine the vocation of marriage, we have to admit that there is a serious crisis going on here. Whereas the sacrament of marriage means that a couple must follow Jesus completely and totally, which includes nonetheless the command to procreate, there is also the strong pull to delay or omit this command due to societal demands such as work, careerism, financial debts, or the pursuit of material goods. Couples have great difficulty understanding that marriage involves an unswerving commitment to the gift of self-donation. Unfortunately, many want the pleasure of sexual intimacy without the responsibility. Therefore, we have what I would call the "Contraceptive Culture."
Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae was very divisive when it was published in 1968. But, how prophetic it was! It stated very clearly that the acceptance of contraception in marriage would lead to the whole scale diminishment of the sacredness of marriage and increase the number of divorces. It would also feed into the abortion mentality. Many couples who are engaged to be marry will state that they only want one or two children at most or will want to delay child bearing for a period time in order to finish a degree, to become more financial secure or to simply enjoy their relationship before being interfered by children. In other words, children are considered a financial or emotional burden, a distraction to marital love. The malaise of contraception has infected so many marriages to the point that just as we are wedding a couple at the altar in our churches we are also consoling more individuals over a failed marriage. It sad to see this.
Selfishness is the primary culprit behind failed marriages. When a man and woman pronounce their vows before the minister, they say, "I take you to be my husband or my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and bad, in sick, sickness and in health. I will love you and honor all days of my life." If a husband says to his wife, "I will love you but don't ask me to open to having children right now. I have more important goals in my life. Let's talk about this another time." That is cowardliness. That is selfishness.
Marriage involves babies. "Go therefore and be fruitful." Why is this mandate so hard for Catholics today to accept? There are so many excuses for holding back. Remember, that Jesus said to His disciples that if no one could be His follower unless he first deny himself, take up his cross and follow after Him. Marriage requires the willingness to sacrifice and serve the other without any conditions, without any reservations. Getting married is a huge risk. It is a major leap of faith. You are either all for marriage and everything that is incumbent upon married couples or you are not.
And, by the way, cohabitation does not adequately address the risk entailed in marriage because getting married has absolutely nothing to do with compatibility!