In the Church there are many Mysteries, and by mysteries I do not mean puzzles which man is able to solve, but secrets of the faith that mean more than what is perceived on the surface. Of the many Mysteries that our faith holds, the Sacrament of Matrimony towers elegantly, majestically, and reverently within the Church.
Marriage is eternally entwined with the relationship between humanity and God. This is why when man and woman come together in a sacramental bond within the Church, they are no longer two but one flesh. It is paramount that we understand what this Sacrament is, for God instituted it to benefit us both physically and spiritually.
We know this from our first parents in the Book of Genesis, when Adam and Eve fell from grace and ate of the forbidden fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. They were convinced by Satan that they could be like a god.
Though they loved each other devoutly, they misrepresented their loyalty to the one true God for the sake of vainglory. And just as truth had a malignant foe then, it does now, but in many different shapes and forms. This is why we must do all that we can to study the truth so as \ not to be deceived.
Imagine if you will, a treasurer who wishes to be trained to know whether the currency that he possesses is genuine or a fraud. Should he study the countless frauds or the genuine? The genuine, of course, as it stands alone as objective, unique, and true. Therefore, in regards to the Sacrament of Matrimony, let’s study the genuine.
Here are some great Resources for reading and preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage:
- The Pope’s new document — titled “Amoris Laetitia,” or the “Joy of Love” — comes following two synods called by Pope Francis to discuss issues of marriage and love.
- Theology of the Body for Every Body
- Audio Catholic Marriage – Fulton Sheen Audio (Free to demo, and listen, $5.99 for the full edition)
- Natural Family Planning – Serena Canada (one version that our family uses), but there are many including Billings ovulation method, and the Creighton Model FertilityCare System
Recalling that Matrimony is rooted in Christ’s marriage to the Church we must understand that true love for a spouse must be founded in sentiments of Christ to His Bride. What did Christ do for His Bride the Church? He laid down His life for her.
Marriage means selflessness, kindness, patience, forgiveness and offering oneself in love to the other continually for their common good.
We have learned through scripture that in holy matrimony, a husband’s body does not belong to himself but to his wife and likewise a wife’s body does not belong to herself but rather to her husband. We must consider what this means.
This means primarily that the two actually belong to one another, not as slaves would belong to a master, but two halves of the same heart. The two halves must be together in order that sanctity may increase, by their devotion to one another but also by their joined devotion to God.
The Joy of Love experienced by families is also the joy of the Church.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 8, 2016
To love one another in truth is the goal, and placing the eternal Father in your marriage does not hinder your expression of love, but rather He fulfills what it is meant to be. Just as when you were a child and you felt that you could do something on your own, even though you were clearly too young to fully grasp the task at hand, you were “hindered” by your parents.
Why? Because they meant to keep you down? No, they held you from the task at hand so that they could show you a more excellent way, so that you could grow to become proficient in the task. In the same way, God through His Church, has laid before us a standard that leads to peace, joy, and true fulfillment in love.
As these things may be difficult to fully grasp, there are ways in our age that we can obtain assistance in discerning this holy Sacrament. Thanks to the ingenuity of mobile app, web page, and ebook designers and authors we can discover these very teachings of the Church at our fingertips.
Marriage preparation is vital in discovering things about your future spouse that you do not want to be surprised with down the road. This is why looking up Catholic doctrines and studying your faith together is crucial.
To assist in this area, I suggest iPieta mobile app for your smartphone or mobile device as it contains most Dogmatic and Doctrinal teachings of the Catholic faith, as well as, catechisms that cover matrimony and its deep theological purpose.
For Marriage Preparation, look to a wonderful website called catholicmarriageprepclass.com. This site is an online program dedicated to assisting couples discerning marriage.
It progresses at a comfortable and time-flexible pace. This of course is not to replace actually going to see a priest as is required in the Church, depending on the diocese, to adhere to a certain program meant for better ascertaining your heart’s condition moving toward this most holy Sacrament.
Most importantly, PRAY each day for and with the person you believe God is calling you to enter into this Holy Sacrament with, and learn with each other His magnificent will for you!