"The spouses participate in it as spouses, together, as a couple, so that the first and immediate effect of marriage (res et sacramentum) is not supernatural grace itself, but the Christian conjugal bond, a typically Christian communion of two persons because it represents the mystery of Christ's incarnation and the mystery of his covenant. The content of participation in Christ's life is also specific: Conjugal love involves a totality, in which all the elements of the person enter--appeal of the body and instinct, power of feeling and affectivity, aspiration of the spirit and of will. It aims at a deeply personal unity, the unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and soul; it demands indissolubility and faithfulness in definitive mutual giving; and it is open to fertility (cf. Humanae Vitae, 9). In a word, it is a question of the normal characteristics of all natural conjugal love, but with a new significance which not only purifies and strengthens them, but raises them to the extent of making them the expression of specifically Christian values."
14. According to the plan of God, marriage is the foundation of the wider community of the family, since the very institution of marriage and conjugal love is ordained to the procreation and education of children, in whom it finds its crowning.
Where is this emphasis on purity in the words of some synod members? Have they forgotten that God always gives one grace sufficient to the task at hand-always? God never asks the impossible, which means that some of the false leaders in the synod have little faith, or simply, do not believe in grace.
And, as Pope Paul VI predicted, once marriage is undermined in a society, the Kingdom of God is damaged by compromise and laxity, or worse, serious sin. And, virginity is only understandable in the light of holy marriage as well. If human sexuality is denigrated in marriage, so, too, it is in celibacy.
When marriage is not esteemed, neither can consecrated virginity or celibacy exist; when human sexuality is not regarded as a great value given by the creator, the renunciation of it for the sake of the kingdom of heaven loses its meaning.
Rightly indeed does St. John Chrysostom say: "Whoever denigrates marriage also diminishes the glory of virginity. Whoever praises it makes virginity more admirable and resplendent. What appears good only in comparison with evil would not be particularly good. It is something better than what is admitted to be good that is the most excellent good."
And, hey, where is the example the married should expect from the holy celibates? Or have they left the path of celibacy themselves so that they no longer understand real love? If so, I personally feel sorry for them-what they are missing is the Love of the Bridegroom, Christ Himself.
Christian couples therefore have the right to expect from celibate persons a good example and a witness of fidelity to their vocation until death. Just as fidelity at times becomes difficult for married people and requires sacrifice, mortification and self-denial, the same can happen to celibate persons, and their fidelity, even in the trials that may occur, should strengthen the fidelity of married couples
Self-knowledge, THIS IS THE KEY.
Every man and woman in the world knows that adultery is a great evil to individuals, to children, to society. Self-knowledge allows one to be honest about one's sins. We all have to face our sins. All.
And without love in the world as an example for us all, we fall back into fear and self-conceit.
The inner principle of that task, its permanent power and its final goal, is love: Without love the family is not a community of persons and, in the same way, without love the family cannot live, grow and perfect itself as a community of persons. What I wrote in the encyclical Redemptor Hominis applies primarily and especially within the family as such: "Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it.
Love can be seen in suffering. I see this daily, in myself, in those I love who are experiencing great pain either physically or mentally, in those who have lost a spouse to death or abandonment. Suffering does not deny love, Never....and it is only in the true sacrament of marriage that the Holy Spirit resides, not in false marriages of convenience or comfort. He will not be present unless those who underwent such a free choice contrary to God's Plan allow themselves to suffer in a new way of abstinence and even breaking-up for the sake of God.
What has been forgotten in the Synod is that love for God trumps all over loves, and that we cannot truly love another outside of love for God.
This conjugal communion sinks its roots in the natural complementarity that exists between man and woman and is nurtured through the personal willingness of the spouses to share their entire life project, what they have and what they are: For this reason such communion is the fruit and the sign of a profoundly human need. But in the Lord Christ God takes up this human need, confirms it, purifies it and elevates it, leading it to perfection through the sacrament of matrimony: the Holy Spirit who is poured out in the sacramental celebration offers Christian couples the gift of a new communion of love that is the living and real image of that unique unity which makes of the church the indivisible mystical body of the Lord Jesus.
Outside of life in the Holy Spirit, there is no life, only death. And the dignity of a man and a woman is seriously compromised by divorce and remarriage without the annulment of the Church. We see this clearly in false man-made religions which think polygamy is OK.
God loves each one of us too much for such a half-love, or quarter-love instead of total love.
I am reminded of a powerful scene in the newer movie on Anna of Siam, not the musical, where the king finally comes to realize what it means to love one woman. In this scene, he dances with Anna and admits that one woman can suffice a man, if that man truly loves. True love comes with total love.
The gift of the spirit is a commandment of life for Christian spouses and at the same time a stimulating impulse so that every day they may progress toward an ever richer union with each other on all levels--of the body, of the character, of the heart, of the intelligence and will, of the soul --revealing in this way to the church and to the world the new communion of love, given by the grace of Christ.
Such a communion is radically contradicted by polygamy: This, in fact, directly negates the plan of God which was revealed from the beginning, because it is contrary to the equal personal dignity of men and women, who in matrimony give themselves with a love that is total and therefore unique and exclusive. As the Second Vatican Council writes: "Firmly established by the Lord, the unity of marriage will radiate from the equal personal dignity of husband and wife, a dignity acknowledged by mutual and total love."
This paragraph is so powerful, I hardly know how to unpack it. That love is unity, you have read on this blog regarding the pursuit of perfection. But, St. John Paul II really experienced God's union, or he would not have been able to write this passage below. The Catholic couple reveals Christ to us. How beautiful.
Christ renews the first plan that the creator inscribed in the hearts of man and woman, and in the celebration of the sacrament of matrimony offers "a new heart": thus the couples are not only able to overcome "hardness of heart," but also, and above all, they are able to share the full and definitive love of Christ, the new and eternal covenant made flesh. Just as the Lord Jesus is the "faithful witness," the "yes" of the promises of God and thus the supreme realization of the unconditional faithfulness with which God loves his people, so Christian couples are called to participate truly in the irrevocable indissolubility that binds Christ to the church, his bride, loved by him to the end.
The gift of the sacrament is at the same time a vocation and commandment for the Christian spouses, that they may remain faithful to each other forever, beyond every trial and difficulty, in generous obedience to the holy will of the Lord: "What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder."
We daily see religions which do not hold the spiritual or physical equality of women in marriage.
Here is the Pope on this....
In creating the human race "male and female," God gives man and woman an equal personal dignity, endowing them with the inalienable rights and responsibilities proper to the human person. God then manifests the dignity of women in the highest form possible, by assuming human flesh from the Virgin Mary, whom the church honors as the mother of God, calling her the new Eve and presenting her as the model of redeemed woman. The sensitive respect of Jesus toward the women that he called to his following and his friendship, his appearing on Easter morning to a woman before the other disciples, the mission entrusted to women to carry the good news of the resurrection to the apostles--these are all signs that confirm the special esteem of the Lord Jesus for women. The apostle Paul will say: "In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith . . . There is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
Authentic conjugal love presupposes and requires that a man have a profound respect for the equal dignity of his wife: "You are not her master," writes St. Ambrose, "but her husband; she was not given to you to be your slave, but your wife.... Reciprocate her attentiveness to you and be grateful to her for her love." With his wife a man should live "a very special form of personal friendship." As for the Christian, he is called upon to develop a new attitude of love, manifesting toward his wife a charity that is both gentle and strong like that which Christ has for the church.
So, you are thinking, what has this to do with gradualism?
Here we go...individuals want to blame God for their sins. They want to deny both their own freedom to choose sin or holiness, and they want to change the teaching of the Church to accommodate this lie. But, the Church did not make up all these beautiful thoughts and rules of guidance for a holy life. God did and He entrusted His Church to share these truths.
The second lie is the denial of grace, which I have written about here on this blog under the tag grace and synod.
St. John Paul II again....
In the field of conjugal morality the church is teacher and mother and acts as such.
As teacher, she never tires of proclaiming the moral norm that must guide the responsible transmission of life. The church is in no way the author or the arbiter of this norm. In obedience to the truth which is Christ, whose image is reflected in the nature and dignity of the human person, the church interprets the moral norm and proposes it to all people of good will without concealing its demands of radicalness and perfection.
And is it hard to be holy, to give in total love? Yes, yes, yes....Love is in the will.
But it is one and the same church that is both teacher and mother. And so the church never ceases to exhort and encourage all to resolve whatever conjugal difficulties may arise without ever falsifying or compromising the truth: She is convinced that there can be no true contradiction between the divine law on transmitting life and that on fostering authentic married love. Accordingly, the concrete pedagogy of the church must always remain linked with her doctrine and never be separated from it. With the same conviction as my predecessor, I therefore repeat: "To diminish in no way the saving teaching of Christ constitutes an eminent form of charity for souls."
On the other hand, authentic ecclesial pedagogy displays its realism and wisdom only by making a tenacious and courageous effort to create and uphold all the human conditions--psychological, moral and spiritual--indispensable for understanding and living the moral value and norm.
There is no doubt that these conditions must include persistence and patience, humility and strength of mind, filial trust in God and in his grace, and frequent recourse to prayer and to the sacraments of the eucharist and of reconciliation. Thus strengthened, Christian husbands and wives will be able to keep alive their awareness of the unique influence that the grace of the sacrament of marriage has on every aspect of married life including, therefore, their sexuality: The gift of the Spirit, accepted and responded to by husband and wife, helps them to live their human sexuality in accordance with God's plan and as a sign of the unitive and fruitful love of Christ for his church.
What the synod fathers of a certain bent, and bent is the word, are forgetting is that evil moves governments not to support marriage and children. Too many governments have passed laws contrary to both natural and revealed law.
Yes, it is hard to be happily and comfortably married today. But, that is because, primarily. societies have fallen into the hands of the enemies of marriage. JPII is too aware of this...
...the church openly and strongly defends the rights of the family against the intolerable usurpations of society and the state. In particular the synod fathers mentioned the following rights of the family: --The right to exist and progress as a family, that is to say, the right of every human being, even if he or she is poor, to found a family and to have adequate means to support it;
--The right to exercise its responsibility regarding the transmission of life and to educate children;
--The right to the intimacy of conjugal and family life;
--The right to the stability of the bond and of the institution of marriage;
--The right to believe in and profess one's faith and to propagate it;
--The right to bring up children in accordance with the family's own traditions and religious and cultural values, with the necessary instruments, means and institutions;
--The right, especially of the poor and the sick, to obtain physical, social, political and economic security;
--The right to housing suitable for living family life in a proper way;
--The right to expression and to representation, either directly or through associations, before the economic, social and cultural public authorities and lower authorities;
--The right to form associations with other families and institutions in order to fulfill the family's role suitably and expeditiously;
--The right to protect minors by adequate institutions and legislation from harmful drugs, pornography, alcoholism, etc.;
--The right to wholesome recreation of a kind that also fosters family values;
--The right of the elderly to a worthy life and a worthy death;
--The right to emigrate as a family in search of a better life.
Satan and individual sin attack marriage, but the solution is not to change the institution, but one's interior life.
Sin is our choice in following the easy ways out of suffering, and I would state that most sin if not all, is an attempt to avoid sacrifice and suffering.
Gradualists believe not only in the two lies above, the denial of free will, and the denial of grace, but in the connection between the building of the Kingdom of God on earth and marriage. Gradualists do not seem to have Faith. They have lost the ability to think like Christ, like the Church, in believing that with grace all things are possible. ALL. And less some people think I write out of ignorance of suffering in marriage, let me assure them this is not so. I learned to accept grace and love in the will. I learned Love. And love gives life.
The Christian family also builds up the kingdom of God in history through the everyday realities that concern and distinguish its state of life. It is thus in the love between husband and wife and between the members of the family--a love lived out in all its extraordinary richness of values and demands: totality, oneness, fidelity and fruitfulness"--that the Christian family's participation in the prophetic, priestly and kingly mission of Jesus Christ and of his church finds expression and realization. Therefore, love and life constitute the nucleus of the saving mission of the Christian family in the church and for the church.
And, yes, there will be one more on this subject....later on today...