Marriage Path through Catholicism Chapter 15 Mark Link, SJ RCL, 2000
Review of Chapter 14 * The four groups that should receive the sacrament are;-Seriously ill people - Seriously weakened by advanced age - Scheduled for serious surgery - Suffering a relapse or new illness*The graces received during the sacrament;- restores us to health - forgives our sin - unites us with the suffering of Jesus - prepares us for entry into eternal life.
Objectives: To Understand the Church’s teachings concerning the sanctity of marriage. Learn about the challenges which most marriages face.
Word of the Week Apostles Creed Prayer that states what we believe about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Church. Written before Nicene Creed.
Call to Love • Love is the spiritual vocation of human beings; after we die, we will not be judged by our accomplishments, but rather how we loved each other. The story of the human race is a love story. It begins with God’s decision to create man and woman in the divine image. It continues with God’s decision to join man and woman in a union of love so intimate that they “become one.” The vocation of marriage was written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of God.
Call to Love…There are many relationships of love. • Parent- Child • Child- Parent • Spouse- Spouse • Brother- Sister • Sister- Brother • Friend- Friend • Only one of these love relationships, however, was raised to the level of a sacrament by Jesus. Of all the love relationships that are possible between human beings, which do you think is capable of producing the deepest and strongest bond?
Call to Love • There are times when we think that we can not go on. Someone will then hold us close and lets their love and strength flow into our body. That gives us the strength to go on. • Our life on earth will not be judged by the fame we achieved or the fortune we acquired. It will be judged by the love we showed.
Call to Love… Mother Teresa put it this way: “At the hour of death when we come face to face with God we are going to be judged on love; not how much we have done, but how much love we have put into the doing.”
Sacraments of Service • Matrimony is a sacrament of service, that is, a sacrament directed towards the betterment of the Body of Christ. • The two sacraments of service are Matrimony and Holy Orders. • In Matrimony, a husband and wife are united as one and are graced to build up the Body of Christ. • In Holy Orders, special members of Christ’s Body are consecrated to teach, guide, and lead other members.
Sacrament of Marriage • Of all the relationships of love between people, the relationship between husband and wife is special because it has origin in the God who created them: the love between man and woman was written in their nature when they were created. • With the coming of Jesus, marriage has been raised to the dignity of a sacrament through which God blesses their lives so profoundly that their love has the potential to mirror God’s love for the human race.
Mirror of God’s Love • God’s love for the human race and married love has two defining characteristics: they are life-giving and forgiving. • God’s love is life-giving because it gave birth to the human race; married love is life-giving because it gives birth to new life and provides an environment in which that life can grow. • God’s love is forgiving in that when humans sin, God forgives them; married love is forgiving in that the spouses forgive each other’s faults and the hurts they cause one another and do not stop loving.
Mirror of Christ’s Love • Paul carries the image of married love a step further, he compares it to Christ’s love with church. • He says, “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.” • We pray to God in the liturgy of the Wedding Mass. • God elevated love to the dignity of a sacrament: -God’s love for the human family -Christ’s love for the Church
Commitment of Marriage The young man knocked at the door; a voice from inside said, “Who is it?” The young man said, “It is I. I’ve come to marry your daughter.” The voice from inside said, “You’re not ready; come back in a year. A year later, the young man returned and knocked again. The voice from inside the house said, “Who is it?” The young man said, “It is your daughter and I. We’ve come to ask your permission to marry.” The voice from within said, “You are now ready. Please come in.” • An ancient story tells about how it is important to wait and make sure both marriage partners are ready before making the commitment of marriage. • You can become ready by: -Extended Courtship -Serious Reflection -Honest Discussion -Mutual Prayer
Marriage Covenant • A contract protects the parties in advanced. It spells out what is expected from each person. A covenant does not do this. • Covenant: a pledge to love and serve the other forever. Why do you think it is essential that the marriage covenant be “unconditional” and “forever”?
Dynamic of Marriage • Four phases of marriage: -Attraction -Integration -Conflict -Maturation
The Four Phases • Attraction: a thrilling experience of being drawn to one another in a way that makes life pulsate with excitement. This phase takes place at four human levels; physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. • Integration: The couple begins to combine love with everyday life. The challenge is to maintain love. • Conflict: Happens when the couple fail the challenge and fall into the danger of the second phase. If this happens the relationship enters the critical stage. Faults that were overlooked now ignite sharp conflict. The challenge of this phase is to steer conflict into constructive directions. The danger is to avoid conflicts rather than deal with them. • Maturation: Partners learn to deal with conflict and rediscover love. If the relationship lasts into this phase, then it can be the most beautiful part of marriage.
Why do difficulties bring some couples closer together, but have just the opposite effect on other couples? In ancient times, a town fort in Weinsberg, Germany, was surrounded by an enemy. The enemy commander, who prided himself on being honest and noble, agreed to let all the women and children leave the fort. He also agreed to let the women take with them their most precious possession. When the moment of evacuation came, the commander couldn’t believe what he saw: a long line of children and women leaving the fort. On the back of each woman was her most precious possession: her husband! Retold from Ruth Youngdahl Nelson: A Grandma’s Letters to God
Marriage Bond • Taught from the earliest times, the marriage bond cannot be broken or dissolved. • It is taught based on Jesus' words: “We must not separate, then, what God has joined together.” • Marriage is “perpetual and exclusive.” CCC1606-08 What is meant by “perpetual” and “exclusive”?
Marriage Bond The bond created by marriage is meant to be perpetual and exclusive In marriage, there are good and bad times, though sometimes the bad can overpower the good. This can usually be helped through some combination of prayer and professional help. If this doesn't help, the couple can be separated and live apart. However, an annulment is the only form of separation that allows for remarriage. An annulment is only allowed if one or both of the spouses: Lack maturity to marry Lack the freedom to marry Feign consent Hide a defect to gain consent Catholics who remarry, when they are not FREE to do so, should continue to worship with the community…even though they may not receive Communion. CCC1648-51
What Is Interfaith Marriage? When two people of different religions share marriage. It is a serious decision, and should follow only after plenty of reflection, communication, and prayer Catholics in interfaith marriages have to commit to teach their children about Catholicism. What are some of the problems connected with an interfaith marriage?
Event of Grace The marriage of a couple is an “event of grace” for that couple. However, it does not stop after the ceremony. It is an event that will continue for the rest of their lives. Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Why do you think couples fail to work hard at their marriage? What suggestions would you have for them?
Closing Prayer O Jesus, lover of the young, the dearest Friend I have, in all confidence I open my heart to You to beg Your light and assistance in the important task of planning my future. Give me the light of Your grace, that I may decide wisely concerning the person who is to be my partner through life. Dearest Jesus, send me such a one whom in Your divine wisdom You judge best suited to be united with me in marriage. May her/his character reflect some of the traits of Your own Sacred Heart. May s/he be upright, loyal, pure, sincere and noble, so that with united efforts and with pure and unselfish love we both may strive to perfect ourselves in soul and body, as well as the children it may please You to entrust to our care. Bless our friendship before marriage, that sin may have no part in it. May our mutual love bind us so closely, that our future home may ever be most like Your own at Nazareth. O Mary Immaculate, sweet Mother of the young, to your special care I entrust the decision I am to make as to my future wife/husband. You are my guiding Star! Direct me to the person with whom I can best cooperate in doing God's Holy Will, with whom I can live in peace, love and harmony in this life, and attain to eternal joys in the next.Amen.
Objectives: To Understand the Churches teachings concerning the sanctity of marriage. Learn about the which most marriages face.