Thursday, June 19, 2008

Second marriage thread

In the thread that followed my article about marriage last week, most of the comments have focused strictly on sexual relations within marriage. That is important, but I want to open a thread in case anyone wants to discuss the sacramental theology of marriage that I brought out, especially in the last paragraphs, which I quote below.

Christian marriages have to them more than human commitment. The Holy Spirit works by means of this union. He gives grace through faithful spouses to further growth in virtues and sanctification. Daily activities and all of the changes of this transitory life, are the context of that ministry to one another over a period of years.

The husband and wife are God’s agents to one another, to aid salvation, and sanctification. Furthermore, all spouses are called to aid each other’s gifts and vocations in this world, and in a special and obvious way in their joint responsibility should they be so blessed as to become parents. Such a life, in turn, may often lead to a Christian couple being a witness to the world of the love between Christ and his Church (Ephesians 5:32).

My advice to Christian couples is to pray together often (which is best when it is initiated and led by the man), perhaps as part of the daily offices of prayer, according to the practices of specific church traditions. The end of marriage, as we know it, is that the husband and wife love one another as aids to everything good and eternal by the work of the Holy Spirit. Then the blessing applies. “That ye may so live together in this life, that in the world to come ye may have life everlasting.”

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