Continuing with the theme of yesterday on natural law, I would like to quote the philosopher Jacques Maritain.
"For the perfecting of the species, that is to say in order that the highest exigencies of the natural law with regard to the human species should be recognized and supernaturally confirmed and that the rigour which is thus demanded from each one should raise the moral level of the species."
Thus, as Raissa Martain notes in her Journal, marriage, although temporary, is a sacrament for the "perfection of the species."
What is missing from marriage preparations is this idea that marriage between two people is exactly for the making of saints, for the personal holiness of each person in the marriage.
In natural law, we know that marriage is between a man and a woman and for life. This is something which the Church has upheld for centuries. Christ did not change the Ten Commandments and, in fact, made marriage more than a covenant.
That the moral level of humans is raised by the process of following natural law, which then leads to Revelation and the laws of the Church, may be seen in the history of the Church.
When a union of a man and woman contravenes natural and supernatural law, this public act of either fornication or adultery affects the entire community, not just the couple. There is no such thing as a completely "private" relationship.
Marriage not only can and should bring a couple to holiness, but the entire community benefits from the goodness of the marriage. Excellent Catholic families strengthen the Church and bring merit into parishes.
To ignore the natural law and to stop the process of moving from natural law to supernatural law indicates a mind-set which is sub-human, less that human.
to be continued...