Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 1601-1608 – The Sacrament of Matrimony

clock April 22, 2013 01:00 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections begin the discussion of the Sacrament of Matrimony. Supporting material comes from the Pastoral Constitution, “Gaudium et Spes”.

Article 7

THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY

1601 "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."84

I. Marriage in God's Plan

1602 Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a vision of "the wedding-feast of the Lamb."85 Scripture speaks throughout of marriage and its "mystery," its institution and the meaning God has given it, its origin and its end, its various realizations throughout the history of salvation, the difficulties arising from sin and its renewal "in the Lord" in the New Covenant of Christ and the Church.86

Marriage in the order of creation

1603 "The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws.... God himself is the author of marriage."87 The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. 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. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics. Although the dignity of this institution is not transparent everywhere with the same clarity,88 some sense of the greatness of the matrimonial union exists in all cultures. "The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life."89

1604 God who created man out of love also calls him to love the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love.90 Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator's eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: "and God blessed them, and God said to them: 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.'"91

1605 Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: "It is not good that the man should be alone."92 The woman, "flesh of his flesh," i.e., his counterpart, his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a "helpmate"; she thus represents God from whom comes our help.93 "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh."94 The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been "in the beginning": "So they are no longer two, but one flesh."95

Marriage under the regime of sin

1606 Every man experiences evil around him and within himself. This experience makes itself felt in the relationships between man and woman. Their union has always been threatened by discord, a spirit of domination, infidelity, jealousy, and conflicts that can escalate into hatred and separation. This disorder can manifest itself more or less acutely, and can be more or less overcome according to the circumstances of cultures, eras, and individuals, but it does seem to have a universal character.

1607 According to faith the disorder we notice so painfully does not stem from the nature of man and woman, nor from the nature of their relations, but from sin. As a break with God, the first sin had for its first consequence the rupture of the original communion between man and woman. Their relations were distorted by mutual recriminations;96 their mutual attraction, the Creator's own gift, changed into a relationship of domination and lust;97 and the beautiful vocation of man and woman to be fruitful, multiply, and subdue the earth was burdened by the pain of childbirth and the toil of work.98

1608 Nevertheless, the order of creation persists, though seriously disturbed. To heal the wounds of sin, man and woman need the help of the grace that God in his infinite mercy never refuses them.99 Without his help man and woman cannot achieve the union of their lives for which God created them "in the beginning."

The Pastoral Constitution “Gaudium et Spes” discusses the Sacrament of Matrimony.

47. 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. Hence Christians and all men who hold this community in high esteem sincerely rejoice in the various ways by which men today find help in fostering this community of love and perfecting its life, and by which parents are assisted in their lofty calling. Those who rejoice in such aids look for additional benefits from them and labor to bring them about.
Yet the excellence of this institution is not everywhere reflected with equal brilliance, since polygamy, the plague of divorce, so-called free love and other disfigurements have an obscuring effect. In addition, married love is too often profaned by excessive self-love, the worship of pleasure and illicit practices against human generation. Moreover, serious disturbances are caused in families by modern economic conditions, by influences at once social and psychological, and by the demands of civil society. Finally, in certain parts of the world problems resulting from population growth are generating concern.

All these situations have produced anxiety of consciences. Yet, the power and strength of the institution of marriage and family can also be seen in the fact that time and again, despite the difficulties produced, the profound changes in modern society reveal the true character of this institution in one way or another.

Footnotes

84 ⇒ CIC, can. 1055 # 1; cf. GS 48 # 1.
85 ⇒ Rev 19:7, 9; cf. ⇒ Gen 1:26-27.
86 ⇒ 1 Cor 7:39; cf. ⇒ Eph 5:31-32.
87 GS 48 # 1.
88 Cf. GS 47 # 2.
89 GS 47 # 1.
90 Cf. ⇒ Gen 1:27; ⇒ 1 Jn 4:8, ⇒ 16.
91 ⇒ Gen 1:28; cf. ⇒ 1:31.
92 ⇒ Gen 2:18.
93 Cf. ⇒ Gen 2:18-25.
94 ⇒ Gen 2:24.
95 ⇒ Mt 19:6.
96 Cf. ⇒ Gen 3:12.
97 Cf. ⇒ Gen 2:22; ⇒ 3:16b.
98 Cf. ⇒ Gen 1:28; :/]; ⇒ 3:16-19.
99 Cf. ⇒ Gen 3:21.

About John

John is a Roman Catholic husband, father of 4 and a big fan of human life, traditional marriage, objective truth, and common sense. View all posts by John →


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Solemn Charge | Bishop Alexander Sample Issues Pastoral Letter on New Evangelization and Year of Faith

Bishop Alexander Sample Issues Pastoral Letter on New Evangelization and Year of Faith

clock October 11, 2012 08:19 by author John |

Bishop Alexander Sample of the Diocese of Marquette, Michigan has issued a pastoral letter entitled “We Wish to See Jesus” on the New Evangelization and the Year of Faith. The letter is well-written and touches on some important realizations for both the diocese of Marquette and the Church as a whole. Here are some of the salient points of the letter:

It has been said that the Church has been in somewhat of a "maintenance" mode for too long. It seems that we in the Diocese of Marquette, at least in many areas, have been working hard to maintain what we have, to hold on to it. We can no longer be satisfied with such a posture. It is time for us to move from "maintenance" to "mission."  It is time to take up again the mission that Jesus Christ has given to us to proclaim the Gospel and draw others to life in Christ and in his Church.

Bishop Sample set forth the seven priorities for the New Evangelization as identified by John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter, Novo Millennio Ineunte:

Pastoral Priorities for the New Evangelization:

1. Holiness…
2. Prayer…
3. The Sunday Eucharist…
4. The Sacrament of Reconciliation…
5. The Primacy of Grace…
6. Listening to the Word…
7. Proclaiming the Word…

Drawing on Pope Benedict’s warnings of the Dictatorship of Relativism, and radical secularism, Bishop Sample outlined three fronts of the New Evangelization:

If we consider that we are engaged in a true struggle against such forces, and taking our direction from the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, this great pastoral initiative will be conducted on three different “fronts” as we battle for the salvation of souls in our time:

1. The Liturgy…
2. Faith Formation and Catechesis…
3. Charity…

Bishop Sample also proposed 2 particular actions that Catholics in his diocese should take up in order to support the work of the Year of Faith:

While not discouraging other individual prayers and sacrifices, as bishop and shepherd of the flock entrusted to my care in the Diocese of Marquette, I make the following earnest appeal. Since we are all members of the Mystical Body of Christ, united by the Holy Spirit in the bonds of faith, hope and love, I appeal to all Catholics in the Diocese of Marquette to observe the following as communal prayer and penance in support of our efforts at the New Evangelization:


1. Abstinence from meat on all Fridays of the year, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. This sacrifice should be offered for the fruitfulness of our efforts in the New Evangelization.
2. The praying of one Rosary each week, asking for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary in our efforts in the New Evangelization. I would like to especially encourage families to pray this weekly Rosary together (“the family that prays together stays together”).

Read the entire letter here. It is an excellent way to start the Year of Faith.

About John

John is a Roman Catholic husband, father of 4 and a big fan of human life, traditional marriage, objective truth, and common sense. View all posts by John →


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