Lord, this is the other person,
with whom I do not see eye to eye.
He belongs to you.
You have created him;
you have allowed him, it not wanted him,
to be just as he is.
If you can bear with him, my God,
then I too will bear with him and put up with him,
just as you bear with and put up with me.
- Karl Rahner-
The Church’s proclamation on the family finds its foundation in the life and preaching of Jesus, who lived and grew up in the family of Nazareth. He attended the wedding at Cana, which he honoured by performing the first of his “signs” (cf. Jn 2:1-11) and presented himself as the Bridegroom who unites himself to his Bride (cf. Jn 3:29). On the cross, he gave himself up with a love to the very end and, in his resurrected body, established new relationships among people. By revealing the fullness of divine mercy, Jesus allows man and woman to recover that “principle” according to which God unites them in one flesh (cf. Mt 19:4-6) and for which — by the grace of Christ — they are enabled to be faithful to each other and love each other forever. Therefore, the divine measure of conjugal love, to which spouses are called by grace, has its source in “the beauty of the saving love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ who died and rose from the dead” (EG, 36), the very heart of the Gospel.
Jesus, in assuming human love, also perfected it (cf. GS, 49), giving man and woman a new manner of loving, which has its foundation in the irrevocable faithfulness of God. In light of this, the Letter to the Ephesians has identified in the married love between a man and a woman, “the great mystery” which makes present in this world the love between Christ and the Church (cf.Eph 5:31-32). A married couple possesses the charism (cf. 1 Cor 7:7) of building up the Church with their spousal love and the task of the procreation and rearing of children. United in an indissoluble sacramental bond, the spouses live the beauty of love, fatherhood and motherhood and the dignity of participating, in this way, in God’s creative work.
Throughout the centuries, the Church has maintained her constant teaching on marriage and family. One of the highest expressions of this teaching was proposed by the Second Vatican Council, in the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, which devotes an entire chapter to promoting the dignity of marriage and the family (cf. GS, 47-52). This document defined marriage as a community of life and love (cf. GS, 48), placing love at the center of the family and manifesting, at the same time, the truth of this love in counter distinction to the various forms of reductionism present in contemporary culture. The “true love between husband and wife” (GS, 49) implies a mutual gift of self and includes and integrates the sexual and affective aspects, according to the divine plan (cf. GS, 48-49). Furthermore, Gaudium et Spes, 48 emphasizes the grounding of the spouses in Christ. Christ the Lord “comes into the lives of married Christians through the Sacrament of Matrimony,” and remains with them. In the Incarnation, he assumes human love, purifies it and brings it to fulfillment. Through his Spirit, he enables the bride and groom to live their love and makes that love permeate every part of their lives of faith, hope and charity. In this way, the bride and groom are, so to speak, consecrated and, through his grace, they build up the Body of Christ and are a domestic Church (cf. LG, 11), so that the Church, in order to fully understand her mystery, looks to the Christian family, which manifests her in a real way.
-Instrumentum Laboris, par. 2,3, & 4-
“The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization” (in preparation for the Synod on the Family this fall)
A cheerful heart is a good medicine,
but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17: 22
I saw this short film a few years back. Someone I love needs to know this now. Maybe you do, too.
by George Herbert (1593-1633)
Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lacked anything.
‘A guest,’ I answer’d, ‘worthy to be here’:
Love said, ‘You shall be he.’
‘I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear
I cannot look on Thee.’
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
’Who make the eyes but I?’
‘Truth, Lord, but I have marred them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.’
‘And know you not,’ says Love, ‘who bore the blame?’
’My dear, then I will serve.’
‘You must sit down,’ say Love, ‘and taste my meat.’
So I did sit and eat.
“Love is stronger than terror.” – Dear World project #BostonStrong (the ’13 Boston Marathon survivors)
Needs some inspiration? Come to Boston next week for the running of the Boston Marathon. These are some of the people you will meet.
Dear World has given us a thoughtful photo essay: Read the stories of survivors who talk about their thrivership after being victimized by the bombings at last year’s Marathon. Check out their amazing photos posed at the finish line.
Here’s a little video to get you started.
The Boston Marathon is Monday, April 21.
36,000 runners will compete — 9000 more than last year.
Area marathon runners who missed the chance to finish last year’s race gear up to come back to Boston.
Banner photo: Screen shot of Alyssa and Brittany Loring Photo (copyright 2014 Dear World)
Verily’s Facebook page had a link to this group of marriage proposals that was too good not to share. All of them are about 5 minutes long and have some kind of music going on. But 5 for 5, the gents all got down on one knee. And all five gals were surprised and said “yes.”
I don’t know who these couples are, but say a prayer for them. All couples need that. The easy part is behind them. But the best part awaits them if they give themselves fully to their beloved in this vocation.
“Marriage is an act of will that signifies and involves a mutual gift, which unites the spouses and binds them to their eventual souls, with whom they make up a sole family – a domestic church.”
- Blessed John Paul II -
This most recent edition of Among Women finds us talking in detail about the Catholic Church’s teaching on contraception with a moral theologian, Angela Franks, PhD. Dr Franks recently authored Contraception and Catholicism, which I endorsed. She is a wife, mother, and professor at the Theological Institute of the New Evangelization at St John’s Seminary in the Archdiocese of Boston. Dr Franks’ expertise and advice on this important subject is both pastoral and consoling. Her teaching is based on the truth that God really does want us to be happy, and that the moral life is always possible for us — with God’s grace!
I’ll also be looking at the life of St Mary of Cerevellon, a 13th century native of Barcelona, Spain and her ministry among slaves and others, earning her the nickname, “Mary of Help.”
Listen to this episode of Among Women.
You might also enjoy a previous episode with Dr Franks from the Among Women archives: AW 158.