Our relationship with our beloved is a holy place where Christ’s own presence and power are at work in every moment and every joy and every trial. The fullness of his presence is made available in the Sacrament of Marriage, for a sacrament is the divine presence empowering what’s human.
It is God who leads us from the desert of not knowing our beloved to the Promised Land of sacramental union. The desert is a barren place. God is there, too, but whenever we are alone with him, we are being prepared for fruitfulness. The desert is not the destination.
Community is the destination, the sacred place where all the preparations bear fruit. Community feeds us, nourishes us, and receives from us what we can give (well, that’s the plan, although many don’t yet realize this and thus we have parishes that feel too desert-like). Marriage is the community of one man and one woman uniting so closely with Christ that the world can be changed by it. This “domestic church” is no less important in the mission of Christ than the parish church where the larger community gathers, and no less important than the global Church where the pope is Christ’s representative as the husband of all believers.
The purpose of any church is to unite the members of the household with each other and with Christ, in worship, to teach and learn, renew strength, grow in holiness, and return to the world empowered to make a difference for the kingdom of God. In a sacramental marriage, we experience the same purpose, the same objectives, and the same strength. Going to Mass as a couple empowers our sanctity, and we carry this into the home, and the fruitful family carries it out to the world.
Sanctity in marriage is not a luxury but a duty — to God and to our spouse and to children and to our own soul. Something huge is missing when marriage is not a union made according to God’s design. Same sex marriages, for example, may include civil rights, and they may be based on genuine love rather than lust, but they lack the sanctity of a far greater love, a much fuller love that is the holiness of union with Christ and his teachings as revealed in scripture.
Sanctity is destroyed by sin, but sanctity, when we choose it, is what defeats sin. Holiness in marriage is our calling, because it provides us with the most abundant fruits. It makes the world more heavenly.
- What can I do to increase the sanctity of my relationship with my beloved?
- What does my beloved do that reveals the presence of Christ?
Strengthen your relationship:
Analyze together how involved you are as a couple in the community life of the Church. Is there room for more? What do you enjoy doing or what could you enjoy doing as members of the global Church? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to enjoy life more with a community of fellow believers.
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© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries
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