sacramental marriage


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      “Marriage gives rise to a covenant guaranteed by God’s Fidelity” (CCC 1640)

Friendships come and go. And people who we thought would be life-long friends we hardly even see anymore. Who can deny that its not easy to maintain a lasting friendship? People change, circumstances change, and friendships unwind. And some friendships are even harmful, and we need to back off from them, while at other times we rediscover friendships that had been dormant for quite a while. For a good reflection on the profound value of friendship, see C.S. Lewis’ little book, The Four Loves.

But here is the point I want to make: Life with a wife is quite a different thing. Or rather: Life with a wife is the most powerful friendship available on this planet (I’m talking about a sacramental marriage). Why? Because only the friendship of husband and wife is bonded together by a sacrament, and sacramental grace is infinitely elevated above all human relationship skills. In other words, marriage offers husband and wife a life of intimacy, friendship and closeness on a scale above all other relationships that are purely natural. “And the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh” (Mark 10:8).

Dear brother, your beautiful wife offers you the highest level of happiness available on this planet. God has pledged Himself to marriage by making it a Sacrament, and He cannot be outdone in generosity. No other relationship – save our relationship with God – has the POWER to draw us into the realm of enduring friendship, love and happiness as sacramental marriage does. What a blessing from God! What a Sacrament!

Sure, there will be tough times in any marriage, but this sacrament is there to give you the grace to endure those tough times and even to merit growth in holiness. “By coming to restore the original order of creation disturbed by sin, [Jesus] gives the strength and grace to live marriage in the new dimension of the Reign of God. It is by following Christ, renouncing themselves, and taking up their crosses that spouses will be able to “receive” the original meaning of marriage and live it with the help of Christ”(CCC 1615).

And what is the purpose of any Sacrament but to lead us to the eternal happiness of Heaven! And so in marriage we are always supporting the greatest good available to our beloved – salvation in Jesus Christ and the eternal wedding-feast of the Lamb (see Rev. 19:7, 9; CCC 1612) in Heaven.

Life with a wife is quite a beautiful thing.

Praise God.

Tom Mulcahy

Reference: In Marriage: The Mystery of Faithful Love Dietrich von Hildebrand said: “In its value, marriage ranks far above all earthly communities. The higher the good which forms its intrinsic principle, the higher the community ranks. Further, the deeper the point in the soul to which the union appeals, the greater and more essential the role which love plays in it finally, and more closely the unifying principle is connected to our supernatural destiny, the higher the community is.”  The “sacrament of Matrimony… gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life” (CCC 1661).  Once, upon returning home, I said to Chris: “Back to life with a wife.” She didn’t smile!

Photo: That’s us…way back in ’84. Happy Anniversary CK!

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