Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 262 - Part II.
(Youcat answer - repeated) A sacramental marriage has three necessary elements: (a) free consent, (b) the affirmation of a lifelong, exclusive union, and (c) openness to children. The most profound thing about a Christian marriage, however, is the couple’s knowledge: “We are a living image of the love between Christ and the Church.”
A deepening through CCC
(CCC 1646) By its very nature conjugal love requires the inviolable fidelity of the spouses. This is the consequence of the gift of themselves which they make to each other. Love seeks to be definitive; it cannot be an arrangement "until further notice." the "intimate union of marriage, as a mutual giving of two persons, and the good of the children, demand total fidelity from the spouses and require an unbreakable union between them" (GS 48 § 1). (CCC 1647) The deepest reason is found in the fidelity of God to his covenant, in that of Christ to his Church. Through the sacrament of Matrimony the spouses are enabled to represent this fidelity and witness to it. Through the sacrament, the indissolubility of marriage receives a new and deeper meaning.
Reflecting and meditating
(Youcat comment) The requirement of unity and indissolubility is directed in the first place against polygamy, which Christianity views as a fundamental offense against charity and human rights; it is also directed against what could be called “successive polygamy”, a series of non-binding love affairs that never arrive at one, great, irrevocable commitment. The requirement of marital fidelity entails a willingness to enter a lifelong union, which excludes affairs outside the marriage. The requirement of openness to fertility means that the Christian married couple are willing to accept any children that God may send them. Couples who remain childless are called by God to become “fruitful” in some other way. A marriage in which one of these elements is excluded at the marriage ceremony is not valid.
(CCC 1648) It can seem difficult, even impossible, to bind oneself for life to another human being. This makes it all the more important to proclaim the Good News that God loves us with a definitive and irrevocable love, that married couples share in this love, that it supports and sustains them, and that by their own faithfulness they can be witnesses to God's faithful love. Spouses who with God's grace give this witness, often in very difficult conditions, deserve the gratitude and support of the ecclesial community (Cf. FC 20).