Looking at life and family issues in the light of faith and reason
With Human Life International’s second educational series we focus on marriage, the lifelong and life-welcoming union of one man and one woman. In marriage God not only shows in a profound (though limited) way His inner life as the Most Blessed Trinity, He uses this great gift to establish the most fundamental and natural human institution, the family.
Marriage and the family have been under attack since the beginning of creation, though both have survived and at times flourished. In modern society the attack has become widespread and is far advanced — now even courts are attempting to redefine the most basic human institution, one that preceded these courts by thousands of years. It is time to rediscover the true nature of marriage both as a natural and sacramental institution, one that must be upheld in culture and in law if any society is to flourish.
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A gift from God in the beginning, renewed and elevated by Christ, marriage is the great sign of how God loves us, pointing toward the flourishing of all persons and societies.
Men and women were created with complete, but at the same time complementary, natures. In a very real way, men and women were made for each other in both nature and spirit. The necessity for love and unity is built into our nature as men and women, and it is intimately connected with the fruitfulness of family life. Indeed, as we shall see, the sacramental union towards which men and women are called is inseparable from the manifestation of that very love’s fruitfulness: children and the creation of society’s most basic unit, the family.
Unitive and procreative married love results in the great gift of children and family
“Marriage is a lifelong partnership of the whole of life, of mutual and exclusive fidelity, established by mutual consent between a man and a woman, and ordered towards the good of the spouses and the procreation of offspring.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church n. 1601) Take away anything, even one bit, of this well-considered definition and you have deformed what marriage is meant to be, both naturally and supernaturally. From this definition comes its purpose, and understanding this purpose requires much greater attention on our part.
Do you want happy, healthy, and productive citizens? Then you must defend marriage and the family.
We are surrounded by story after tragic story that
confirm what happens when God’s love is left unreceived and His law denied. In this part of our series on marriage, we will look more closely at how the decay of society around us reveals the consequences of turning away from God and His plan for marriage and family. Before we step out of Church teaching and into the research and observations of a society at war with itself we should note the truly incredible wisdom in the doctrine of the Church, the harmony between the moral and social doctrine of the Catholic Church.
Challenges to marriage and family are an opportunity to evangelize.
“The family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis, as are all communities and social bonds. In the case of the family, the weakening of these bonds is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another; it is also the place where parents pass on the faith to their children. Marriage now tends to be viewed as a form of mere emotional satisfaction that can be constructed in any way or modified at will. But the indispensable contribution of marriage to society transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple.” (Evangelii Gaudium, n. 66)