Last week I wrote a blog reflecting on the Feast of the Holy Family including trust, fidelity, and the importance of parenting. Today I want to extend those reflections supported by Catholic Church Teaching on the sanctity and indissolubility of marriage.
Marriage was one of the first gifts to mankind when God presented Adam with his wife, Eve, flesh of his flesh and they would become one flesh and produce and fill God’s kingdom with the fruit of their love. Marriage is probably the greatest human metaphor for the Most Holy Trinity, God in relationship, Father, Son, and Holy Spirity.
At the Marriage feast in Cana, John 2:1-12, Jesus raised marriage to a sacrament that gives grace. We are now in the midst of a heated debate about what marriage is. When Jesus was asked by some Pharisees about whether divorce was possible, in Matthew chapter 9, Jesus gave a clear teaching about the real meaning of marriage that is as relevant to the debate about whether homosexuals can marry as it was to the subject of divorce-and-remarriage.
“Have you not read that in the beginning God ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:3-12
Later His disciples asked Jesus, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” Jesus answered, “Not all can accept [this] word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”
Wow! Even Jesus says marriage is not for everyone, some may even be born not able to fulfill the procreative and unitive requirements of marriage. The Catechism of the Catholic Church continues to expound on God’s awesome plan for mankind with emphasis on the unitive and procreative role of Marriage, neither of which can be fulfilled by a homosexual couple.
“In the beginning, God made them male and female.” There is great meaning to our masculinity and femininity in God’s plan. God didn’t clone Adam, but made Eve, who was equal to him in dignity, but complementary. God’s plan is not that a man leave his parents and cling to whomever he wants, but to cling to a wife.
ROMAN CATHOLIC BELIEFS ROMAN CATHOLIC TEACHINGS
“The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament. CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH #601
THE GOODS OF MARRIAGE
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 1643), there are three goods of marriage. They are: unity, fidelity, and openness to children
The choice of contraception denies the intrinsic meaning of giving and receiving which is proper to the conjugal sexual act and closes it arbitrarily to the dynamics of transmitting a new human life. “This is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife and they become one body.” (Genesis 2:24)
This unity is beyond mere unity of the flesh; it demands permanence (indissolubility) for the entire life of the married couple. The union is so profound and total that only death can dissolve it.
The very nature of conjugal love, total union for life of a married couple, demands fidelity and prohibits any disorder such as adultery. This “good” of married fidelity is a sign of the faithful union between Christ and His Church.
The good of “openness to children” is the fruit of total self-giving love. Accepting children and nurturing them leads the married couple to a deeper union and exclusive commitment to one another.
The conception of new life is the ultimate perfection of marital union itself. Contraception renders this perfection impossible. One aspect of man in the image and likeness of God is procreator, sharing in God’s creative work, the completion of the human race.
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