Catholic marriage (matrimony) is one of the seven sacraments and more than just a natural union. Since it is a spiritual bond, once validly entered into and consummated, it is permanent, unending and sealed by God (Catechism, 1640).
Fittingly, the word “matrimony” has its origins in the Latin word mater (mother) and refers to the procreative end of marriage — to welcome children. Catholics believe that there are two ends of marriage: procreation and unity.
God’s creative love is expressed between the married couple by children. To this end, the Church instructs married couples only to practice natural family planning within reason and forbids all use of artificial birth control (Catechism, 1652-1654). Artificial contraception interferes with the couple’s openness to God’s plan and severs the channels of grace.
Due to the seriousness and sacred quality of Catholic marriage, before the nuptials, pre-Cana (remember the wedding in the Bible where Jesus turned water into wine?) instruction is required.
Recently, the Nazareth Project for Marriage and Family Formation in the Milwaukee Archdiocese sponsored a pre-Cana retreat for engaged couples.
Father Luke Strand of Holy Family Parish in Fond du Lac, Wis., counseled couples “to see the face of Jesus in your future spouse. The married couple must have Jesus in the center of their marriage. Married life is the prism through which we see Jesus. God is a distant reality, but not if you think of the married couple. When a person sees a married couple, they should see God.”
Another speaker, David Urbanski, encouraged couples to reflect on the idea that “passion draws us together, but compassion holds us together.” He continued by praying: “May you be overwhelmed by the grace of God rather than the cares of life.”
Marriage for Catholics
May 30, 2012 by joyfulpapist
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