Monday, December 27, 2021

Contemplating Marriage

While preparing for a formation session for one of our inquirers who is studying to become a Lay Dominican, I was reviewing a section of one of the Church's documents from Vatican II (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern WorldGaudium et Spes).

The section I was reading was about Marriage and the Family (Part II, Chapter I).  

Stay with me.  The point about marriage is one that is mostly overlooked, but is definitely profound.

As human beings, we not only exist as physical beings, but we are spiritual as well.  We are created in God's image. God modeled marriage on his own union with the Church.  He so loved the Church that he handed himself over on her behalf (remember Jesus!).  In a similar way, this happens through a spouse's self-giving, and like God's covenant with his people, perpetual fidelity.

"Authentic married love is caught up into divine love and is governed and enriched by Christ's redeeming power and the saving activity of the Church . . ."

The union of two people in the Sacrament of Marriage becomes a joint endeavor where we are tasked with helping our spouse grow and, together, we contribute to the glory of God in our union.

Accurately, beautifully, the Council noted so many years ago:

"The well-being of the individual person and of human and Christian society is intimately linked with the healthy condition of that community produced by marriage and family."

Take a moment and think about that. 

Marriage and family produce healthy communities!

If we would all take the time to prepare well for marriage and connect to God's love and purpose for this special union, our very communities could become healthier!  This is hopeful, and it can be a reality, if you and I share it with others who are in, or contemplating marriage.

Janet Cassidy

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