The Answer to the BURNING QUESTION of the Week
By Paul Dion, STL
Here 's the Burning Question:
What are the four essential components of conjugal life in the sacrament of Matrimony?
Here's the answer to the Burning Question:
Quoted from the catechism with comments in parentheses.
"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.
1* It aims at a deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and soul (this is the component of Unity. Life in stable community is essential in the sacrament of matrimony. It is a part of the same grace of Unity that the Church, the bride of Christ has as Her first essential component).
2* It demands indissolubility (Marriage is a permanent covenant betwen two people in front of God Himself. In the eraly day of the sacrament of Matrimony even death did not free the surviving souse to remarry. As time went by the Church took a different view of the mind of God as found in the Bible and death was considered an end of one covenant and allowed the survising spouse to remarry.)
3* Faithfulness in definitive mutual giving (Faithfulness is equivalent to exclusivity. Faithfulness must be intended from the very first moment of the sacrament. If a person pronounces the vows but has reservations about the permanent faithfulness required by the sacrament, the covenant is not one before God and is not valid before the church.)
4* It is open to fertility. (The sacrament of Matrimony requires that the spouses remain open to fertility. Child bearing is an essential component of marriage. Once again, withholding consent of this component of the sacrament of Marriage at the foot of the altar renders the sacrament null and void.)
The answers above come from the Catechism. There are other requirements that we have not mentioned here, but they are a part of the preparation for Marriage.
As you all know, to be married in the Catholic Church, ar least one spouse must be Catholic. That means that the Catholic party will be baptized, have received Holy Communion and be in the state of sanctifying grace at the time of the sacramental exchange of vows. You all know that it is not possible for a Catholic person to be validly married to authorities outside of the Church. This includes Protestant ministers, judges and ship captains.
We know that this is a very short answer to a very complex topic. We are ready to accommodate any and all your questions about matrimony. It's our New Year's resolution to cause as many good, Church weddings as possible. Even those of you who got married in Casablanca 60 years ago should come to the Lord's sacrament while He is still giving you the health to get it done.
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