Man, the image of God Who is Love

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Carson Weber, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. Carson Weber

    Carson Weber
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    In order to graduate with my Masters in Theology this upcoming May, I am required to take a full day of comprehensive exams, which cover some of the classes I have taken. One of the possible exam questions is drawn from my Family Catechesis course, wherein we had to study the nature of the family as God intends it to be in the light of Jesus Christ and his grace.

    One of the documents I have had to read is Familiaris Consortio, which is an apostolic exhortation written by Pope John Paul II subtitled The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World. Below, I have included quotes from this document that spoke deeply to my heart as I reviewed this incredible exhortation to live out the vocation of marriage and family in the light, grace, and truth of Jesus Christ.

    “[T]here frequently lies a corruption of the idea and the experience of freedom, conceived not as a capacity for realizing the truth of God's plan for marriage and the family, but as an autonomous power of self-affirmation, often against others, for one's own selfish well-being ... This shows that history is not simply fixed progression towards what is better, but rather an event of freedom, and even a struggle between freedoms that are in mutual conflict, that is according to the well-known expression of Saint Augustine, a conflict between two loves: the love of God to the point of disregarding self, and the love of self to the point of disregarding God" (FC 6).

    “Love is therefore the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. As an incarnate spirit, that is a soul, which expresses itself in a body and a body informed by an immortal spirit, man is called to love in his unified totality. Love includes the human body, and the body is made a sharer in spiritual love ... Consequently, sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is by no means something purely biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and a woman commit themselves totally to one another until death" (FC 11).

    “Indeed, by means of baptism, man and woman are definitively placed within the new and eternal covenant, in the spousal covenant of Christ and the Church. And it is because of this indestructible insertion that the intimate community of conjugal life and love, founded by the Creator, is elevated and assumed into the spousal charity of Christ, sustained and enriched by his redeeming power. By virtue of the sacramentality of their marriage, spouses are bound to one another in the most profoundly indissoluble manner. Their belonging to each other is the real representation, by means of the sacramental sign, of the very relationship of Christ with the Church. Spouses are therefore the permanent reminder to the Church of what happened on the Cross; they are for one another and for the children witness to the salvation in which the sacrament makes them sharers" (FC 13).

    “When marriage is not esteemed, neither can consecrated virginity or celibacy exist; when human sexuality is not regarded as a great value given by the Creator, the renunciation of it for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven loses its meaning. Rightly indeed does Saint John Chrysostom say: 'Whoever denigrates marriage also diminishes the glory of virginity. Whoever praises it makes virginity more admirable and resplendent. What appears good only in comparison with evil would not be particularly good. It is something better than what is admitted to be good that is the most excellent good' (On Virginity 10)" (FC 16).

    If anyone has a favorite book on marriage and the family, I encourage you to include a quote on this thread in the hope that it will help inspire one another to see marriage and family in the light of Christ rather than in the fallen world that we live in apart from the power of grace.
     
  2. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    Roman Catholicism is hardly in a position to instruct about marriage and a conjugal relationship within marriage with the opposite sex. The priests should make referrals to Catholic or Protestant Christian counselors so they can deal with, in some cases, personal problems of marital intimacy. Words about Christ and His relationship to the church is not a cure all answer to family problems, as most secular counselors will inform you.

    If you and I were asked to construct a new home, I am not at all sure that it would be safe to move into once we thought it was completed. By the same token a priest has no credentials on how to build a marriage or a family, because he never has had a wife and/or children to deal with, with their various problems during teen years.

    The priest may toy around with ideas like Christ is the groom and we are the Bride of Christ and that we should love each other, which is true, but he is far from a wise counselor in something that he knows little to nothing about.

    If there was any advantage in a priest remaining single and a virgin, the Apostle Paul would not have instructed the clergy to marry if they so desire. The first instruction of the Apostle Paul relative to a bishop in the Pastoral Epistles is that 'A bishop/pastor/priest/minister/ must be blameless, the husband of one wife . . . ' [I Timothy 3:1-2]

    Now please tell us if the tradition of the Catholic Church is sovereign even over the truth of God coming from Christ Himself through His servant the great Apostle Paul? Yes or no.

    Single clergy can be faithful men of God but some of them {Protestant & Catholic} can be lazy and only interested in receiving checks for the bishop in their diocese. Singleness in no way assures one of greater spirituality.

    Most of us non-Catholic clergy can minister the truth, the liturgy, the sacrament of baptism, Holy Communion and prayers for the dying, plus we have the experience of a wife and children.
     
  3. Carson Weber

    Carson Weber
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    Hi Ray,

    Let us post inspiring passages that pertain to marriage and the family.

    Do you have any?
     

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