The sacrament of Matrimony is the matrimonial union of one man and one woman, who’s union has been elevated, by Jesus Christ, to the dignity of a “sacrament” between the baptized man and the baptized woman (Read CCC 1601).
The matrimony is an integral part of the Plan of Salvation from God for humanity. As the man unites with his wife and becomes one (Read Mark 10:7-9), the Savior unites with the Chruch and becomes one (Read Revelations 19:7-9; CCC 1602). Both unions are possible by the love of both parts, as God is Love (Read 1 John 4:8-16), and the man and the woman have been created in the likeness of God (Read Genesis 1:26-27), to love (Read John 13:34-35; CCC 1604).
The matrimony between a man and a woman must reflect the matrimony between the Savior and his Church: “Husbands, love your women as Christ loved his church and he gave himself for her to sanctify her” Ephesians 5:25-26; and in the same way: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Because the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and he himself is its Savior” Ephesians 5:22-23 (Read CCC 1616).
Jesus Christ teaches us clearly that the recipe for a successful matrimony (avoid fights and the divorce) is to understand matrimony as God created and defined it: “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason man will leave his father and mother to unite with his wife and the two will become one flesh.’ So, they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man separate.” Matthew 19:3-6.
The main factor for which fights (silent or not) start in marriage, to the point that the divorce is reached, is the original sin. The original sin threatens the “order” that must exist in the relation between the man and his wife, converting it in a “disorder” in the relation. The man and his wife now must repair that “disorder” and take it to an “order”, that is only achieved with the mercy of God. Therefore, for the success of the matrimony, the man and his wife must remain united asking God for help, to overcome all the obstacles and attempts against their union: discord, the spirit of the devil, jealousy and conflicts that can lead to hatred and rupture, etc. (Read CCC 1601-1608).
“In his mercy, God did not abandon the sinner man. The penalties that are a consequence of sin, ‘the pains of childbirth’ (Read Genesis 3:16), the labor by ‘the sweat of your brow’ (Read Genesis 3:19), constitute remedies that limit the damages from sin. After the fall, the matrimony helps to overcome the withdrawal on oneself, selfishness, the pursuit of one’s own pleasure, and to open oneself to the other, to the mutual help, to the gift of self.” CCC 1609.
In the Old Testament, Moses allowed the divorce “for the hardness of the heart” of man (Read Matthew 19:8; Deut. 24:1; CCC 1610). But, contemplating the Alliance of God with Israel under a conjugal exclusive and loyal love, the prophets started to prepare the awareness of the people to a deeper understanding of indissoluble matrimonial unity under an unconditional love. The books of Ruth and Tobit give touching testimonies of a deep feeling of matrimony, of the fidelity and tenderness of spouses. And the Song of Songs is a unique expression of human love, pure reflection of the Love of God (Read CCC 1611). The bridal alliance between God and his people (Old Testament: Read CCC 1611) is the instructive prefigure for the new and eternal alliance with the Son of God becoming flesh; that, by giving his life, he united with all the humanity saved by him, preparing thus “… the wedding of the Lamb …” Revelations 19:7-9.
Jesus Christ made his first miracle, by petition from his mother, in a wedding banquet, confirming thus the goodness of the matrimony and announcing thus the effecttive presence of Christ in matrimony (New Testament: Read CCC 1613).
Christ Jesus taught the “original” meaning of matrimony given by his Father, the Creator, that is “the indissoluble union” of one man and one woman: “‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery, but I am talking about Christ and the church.” Ephesians 5:31-32 (Read CCC 1614-1616). In this way, the christian life is marked by the conjugal love of Christ and his Church (his wife). The Baptism is like the “wedding bath” that precedes the “wedding banquet”, the Eucharist. The matrimony between the baptized is a true sacrament of the New Alliance (Lee CIC 1617). Therefore, it is convenient that the spouses seal their consent to give oneself to the other through the offering of their own lives, uniting themselves to the offering of Christ for his Church, made present in the eucharistic sacrifice, and receiving the Eucharist, so that, having the communion in the same body and in the same blood of Christ, “form a single body” in Christ (Read CCC 1617). Therefore, to be well prepared to receive the Sacrament of Marriage, the spouses must receive first the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation (Read CCC 1622). The matrimonial alliance, community of life and love between one man and one woman, was founded and endowed with its own laws by the Creator and it is ordered to the good of the spouses, thus to the generation and education of the children; and the matrimony between baptized has been elevated by Christ Jesus to the dignity of the Sacrament of Matrimony (Read CCC 1660).
The Christian home is the first place where the children receive the first announcement of faith; for that reason, the familiar house is called “Domestic Church”, “Community of Grace and Prayer”, “School of Human Virtues and Christian Charity”.
For additional information or to schedule a Matrimony call (954) 421-3246.