St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Marriage is Holy III

                This Sunday concludes NFP (Natural Family Planning) week. For those who are of child-bearing years, I hope you consider this approach to your family planning; with generosity. I can see the benefits families gain from this grace-filled way of life. All couples that I know practice NFP would agree with the definition of a sacrament, particularly marriage, that divine life comes to those who participate in it. Part of the definition of a sacrament is, “an efficacious sign…by which divine life is dispensed to us…”.

                I bet you never thought of marriage in that way. It is holy. It is where we experience the love of God. Your body is a Holy Temple of God. This is the sign; your body. This sign (your body), through the marital act or other simple acts of kindness, dispenses grace! God also said, “Be fertile and multiply” (Gen 1:28). This reserves the marital act for marriage alone. As Male and female, we are made in God’s image. As a sacrament, it becomes a living image of God’s love for us. The marital act outside of marriage would mock who God is and His love for us.

                Marriage is not the only thing we get grace from. The grace of marriage is particular. The Divine Life in which marriage dispenses is the kind that helps us live out the commitment of marriage and all that comes with it; spouse, work & children. The love we have did not come from us. It comes from God. Does your spouse experience the love and grace of God through your marriage? Do your children experience the love and grace of God in your marriage? When you do experience God’s love or grace in your marriage, how do you experience it? Does faith and closeness to God make your spouse more beautiful? How? Do you remember the love and grace of God when your child was born? Have you shared those moments with your children? These might be some fun discussion questions to have with your family.

                The Church wants your marriage to be beautiful. She wants you to have the best marriage possible, because Jesus wants that for you. She is, after all, the bride of Christ and wants to give you what she has, the beautiful bridegroom. This is why she tries so hard to protect your marriage or future marriage.