“From the beginning the Creator 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, no human being must separate”
Marriage is inherently good and pleasing to God. It is the highest expression of mutual affection and the deepest human communion. Its clear purpose is love, companionship and procreation. Being called to “become one flesh”, this oneness is a source of strength and stability for the couple, for any children born of them, and, in fact, for all of society. The unity of marriage is one of the fundamental building blocks of all society.
The Sacrament of Matrimony is a solemn covenant entered into by one man and one woman in their free will, with pledge of their love and fidelity. This divine covenant can never be broken, it infuses the soul with grace, it also creates an indissoluble bond between the couple which is only broken by death.
The love in a married relationship is exemplified in the total gift of one’s self to another. It’s this self-giving and self-sacrificing love that we see in our model of marriage, the relationship between Christ and the Church. St Paul says: “Wives be subject to your husbands as the Church is subject to Christ. Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the Church!” What an incredible responsibility! To love one another as much as Christ loves His Church!
We are not called to love until the love dies, we are not called to stay together until the children are grown, we are not called to stick around only until the romance dies or our individuality is repressed: we are called to be a living witness of the love of Christ for His Church and the unbreakable bond between them.
God understands that it is not easy to live holy lives, it is not easy to sustain a lifelong relationship. All these things take sacrifice and effort. But, thankfully, He never leaves us to our own resources. He gives us the Graces throughout our entire married lives to carry whatever crosses are sent our way. He never asks us to do the impossible.
That is a privilege that comes about through the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, as a special privilege for having accepted God’s call to live the married life. This is how a Sacramental marriage is different from any other form of relationship.
How, then do we live our marriages so as to reap the benefits of the Sacrament and please God?
To live our marriages in a way pleasing to God, and take full advantage of the graces He offers, we must always respect these blessings:
- respect the blessing of fecundity in marriage: entering marriage with the purpose of pro-creation
- respect the blessing of fidelity: adultery obviously attacks this, but so does “adultery of the eyes and the heart”
- respect the blessing of indissolubility: we must not treat marriage as a transitory thing, temporary or impermanent
-excerpts from Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, Paul Mclachlan, Catholic-pages.com
Congratulations on your engagement!
This is an exciting time and we are happy to guide you as you prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage. According to the Common Policy of the five Latin-rite (Roman Catholic) dioceses of New Jersey, there must be twelve months of marriage preparation for each couple who desires to be married in the Church. Please do not make any wedding arrangements (including reception hall) until you have met with the pastor, and he has approved the wedding date with you. Please contact parish office at (609) 585-7049 for more information.