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Ordination, Dominican Province of St. Joseph

Saying "I Do"

Adulthood: Issue Three

What does it mean to be an adult? Some think of maturity in terms of self-possession. But what if adulthood is actually the condition in which we realize that we do not, in fact, “possess” ourselves? What if being truly adult means being ready and willing to say “I do,” to give ourselves away—wholly and irrevocably—to another? To mature as a human being implies a certain “ripeness,” the ability to bear fruit. But we can only do that when we have made a complete gift of self to another (or Another). That is why we possess ourselves in the first place, to have something to give.

Humanum: Issues in Family, Culture & Science
Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family
620 Michigan Ave. N.E. (McGivney Hall)
Washington, DC 20064