Living Sacramental Marriage

National Marriage WeekThis week is National Marriage Week in the United States. We encourage you to strengthen your marriage by using the resources as found on the For Your Marriage website, which is where the following article is provided as Day 1 for National Marriage Week. Other resources are also available for this national event, as noted on their website.

Today’s Theme: Marriage is a Natural and a Supernatural Gift

Breaking Open the Theme

Marriage is a natural gift to society; it is also a supernatural gift to the Church. As a natural institution marriage retains certain God-given characteristics. It is the permanent, faithful union of a man and a woman, intended for the good of the spouses and the bearing and raising of children.

So essential is the blessing of marriage that it was not lost by original sin. Rather it was redeemed by Christ and elevated by Him to become one of the seven sacraments for those who are baptized. In this way, Christ restored the original blessing of marriage and made it a sign or visible embodiment of his love for the Church. Sacramental marriage does not replace natural marriage but, in a marvelous example of grace building on nature, raises it so that the spouses share in God’s own divine life.

Reflection

Many neighborhoods are blessed to have a married couple who are the true community makers. This is the couple on whom everyone counts to generate enthusiasm for the block party or to welcome new arrivals. When this special couple also happens to be Christians, their positive influence gives the Church a good name. People seek their opinion on moral questions or ask them to pray for their loved ones. They seem to enjoy working together in the yard and on church projects. Their dinner table always has room for another teenager. In such a couple, people witness the natural and supernatural dimensions of marriage, in the flesh.

To Think About
(Choose one or more of the following questions to reflect on by yourself and/or with your spouse)

(1) How has your spouse been a gift to you?
(2) What would you like to do for your spouse that would express your love in a special way?
(3) In what ways can your marriage become a gift to other people, not only to each another?

Prayer for Married Couples

 Almighty and eternal God,
You blessed the union of married couples
So that we might reflect the union of Christ with his Church:
look with kindness on us.

Renew our marriage covenant.
increase your love in us,
and strengthen our bond of peace
so that, [with our children],
we may always rejoice in the gift of your blessing.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.