Marriage: A Sacrament of Christ’s Love

Marriage_ A Sacrament of Christ's Love

A Sacrament of Christ’s Love Christian marriage that is raised to the dignity of a sacrament is modeled upon Christ’s love for the Church. In marriage, therefore, spouses are called upon to give visible expression to Christ’s love for the Church by leading a life of sacrificial love. “Christ our Lord has abundantly blessed this love, which is rich in its various features, coming as it does from the spring of divine love and modeled on Christ’s own union with the Church” (GS 48). Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and ends with a vision of the ‘wedding feast of the Lamb’ (cf. Gen 1:27; Rev 19:7, 9). Sacred Scripture speaks of marriage and its ‘mystery’, its institution, and the meaning God has given to it. It also speaks of its origin and its purpose… the difficulties arising from sin, and its renewal in Jesus Christ.? The Old Testament describes God’s love for his people as similar to the love of a husband for his wife. The New Testament also compares Christ’s love for his Church to the love of a husband for his wife (cf. Eph 5:21-33). He unites himself indissolubly to his Bride, the Church.

The Catholic Church teaches that “Marriage is not a purely human institution, despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes.”8 All cultures uphold the greatness of matrimonial union. “The well-being of the individual person and both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life” (GS 47). Hence marriage is not a tangential issue in Christian life. It is right at the heart of the Christian mystery. It serves to illustrate Christian mystery by means of its striking analogy. No analogy is really adequate in its attempt to communicate Christ’s love for the Church. Yet, speaking of marriage and the family, Pope John Paul II states, “In this entire world there is not a more perfect, more complete image of God, Unity and Community. There is no other human reality which corresponds more, humanly speaking, to that divine mystery.”

God’s love for his people is central to Judeo-Christian religious tradition. “The communion of love between God and people… finds a meaningful expression in the marriage covenant which is established between a man and a woman.” This “communion between God and his people finds its definite fulfillment in Jesus Christ, the bridegroom who loves and gives himself as the savior of humanity, uniting it to himself as his body.”

We cannot understand the Christian mystery unless we keep in mind the “great mystery” involved in the creation of man as male and female and the vocation of both to conjugal love. According to the analogy, God’s eternal plan for us is to “marry”y. He wanted this eternal plan to be so present to us that he stamped an image of it in our very being by creating us male and female and calling us to marriage.

“For this reason,” St Pauls in his epistle writes, “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church”

This union is both creative and transformative. The self-emptying of the spouses in “conjugal love reaches that fullness to which it is interiorly ordained, conjugal charity, which is the proper and specific way in which the spouses participate in and are called to live the very charity of Christ who gave himself on the cross. In a sacramental marriage, the husband lays down his life to serve her husband, as a visual reminder to the world that God the Father sent his only Son, “not to condemn the world, but to save it”, and that the Son freely laid down his life for us, and as his Bride, we choose to lay down our lives to serve him.

This excerpt is taken from the Book “Love in Crisis”.

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What does the Devil normally do to Lead Astray?

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Since the devil is called the “Seducer”, we need to pose the question: how does he lead the human person astray? St Thomas Aquinas masterfully tells us that the devil tries to persuade us to consent to sin through the power of rationalization or blandishment that is, the devil tries to get us to deceive ourselves in the art of choosing an apparent good. In Gently including people to turn their attention to a particularly attractive sin, Satan tries to catch everyone in the false belief that the sin is a question is at least not all that bad; and, that seeming good which is manifested by an appearance of a delightful outcome, is still very needful for personal fulfillment. In any case, the evil one is the expert at getting us to evade reality.

Therefore, the need to develop a prayer life so that each and all can face reality as it is and not as anyone desires it to be. It is not by accident that the greatest ends “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” but if someone chooses a sinful action, he lets that person have the freedom and the consequences of that choice, the purpose behind the difficulty of temptation:409. This drama situation of “the whole world is in the power of the evil one” makes man’s life a battle:The Whole of man’s history has been the story of dour combat with the power of evil, stretching, so our Lord tells us, from the very dawn of history until the last day. Finding himself in the midst of the battlefield man has to struggle to do what is right, and it is at great cost to himself and aided by God’s grace, that he succeeds in achieving his own inner integrity.

This excerpt is taken from the Book “The Hidden Enemies of the Priesthood.”

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