Friday, March 9, 2018
Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 425.
(Youcat answer) For Catholics there is no marriage without a church wedding. In that ceremony Christ enters into a covenant with the husband and the wife and generously endows the couple with graces and gifts.
A deepening through CCC
(CCC 2390) In a so-called free union, a man and a woman refuse to give juridical and public form to a liaison involving sexual intimacy. The expression "free union" is fallacious: what can "union" mean when the partners make no commitment to one another, each exhibiting a lack of trust in the other, in himself, or in the future? The expression covers a number of different situations: concubinage, rejection of marriage as such, or inability to make long-term commitments (Cf. FC 81). All these situations offend against the dignity of marriage; they destroy the very idea of the family; they weaken the sense of fidelity. They are contrary to the moral law. The sexual act must take place exclusively within marriage. Outside of marriage it always constitutes a grave sin and excludes one from sacramental communion.
Reflecting and meditating
(Youcat comment) Older individuals sometimes think they should advise young people to have nothing to do with ceremonies with vows. In their opinion, a marriage is just a rash attempt to combine incomes, perspectives, and good intentions while at the same time publicly making promises that cannot be kept. A Christian marriage is not a game, however, but rather the greatest gift God has devised for a man and a woman who love each other. God himself unites them at a depth that man could not achieve. Jesus Christ, who said, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5), is present in a lasting way in the sacrament of Matrimony. He is the love in the love of the spouses. His strength is still there, even when the strength of the lovers seems to dry up. That is why the sacrament of Matrimony is anything but a piece of paper. It is like a divine and seaworthy vessel that the loving couple can board - a ship that the bride and groom know carries enough fuel to bring them with God’s help to their longed - for destination. Whereas today many people say that there is nothing wrong with uncommitted premarital sex or extramarital relations, the Church invites us to resist this societal pressure clearly and forcefully.
(CCC 2391) Some today claim a "right to a trial marriage" where there is an intention of getting married later. However firm the purpose of those who engage in premature sexual relations may be, "the fact is that such liaisons can scarcely ensure mutual sincerity and fidelity in a relationship between a man and a woman, nor, especially, can they protect it from inconstancy of desires or whim" (CDF, Persona humana 7). Carnal union is morally legitimate only when a definitive community of life between a man and woman has been established. Human love does not tolerate "trial marriages." It demands a total and definitive gift of persons to one another) Cf. FC 80).