Friday, 25 May 2012
"The roots of the institution of marriage lie in our nature. Male and female we have been created, and written
into our nature is this pattern of complementarity and fertility. This pattern is, of course, affirmed by many other religious traditions. Christian teaching fills out this pattern and reveals its deepest meaning, but neither the Church nor the State has the power to change this fundamental understanding of marriage itself. Nor is this simply a matter of public opinion."
This is further affirmed by the Catechism which says;
"The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . . . God himself is the author of marriage." The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics. Although the dignity of this institution is not transparent everywhere with the same clarity, some sense of the greatness of the matrimonial union exists in all cultures. "The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life." (CCC 1603)
Man has no authority to alter the definition of marriage since he himself is not the author of it. It is a gift lovingly given to us by God to bring man and woman into a more profoundly intimate union. They are no longer 'man' and 'woman' but one flesh, the two come together, giving all of themselves to their spouse with nothing held back; not emotionally, physically, psychologically, materially, the two literally do aspire - with God's help and by his grace - to become one. This is a reflection of the love shared within the Trinity (I'm not clever enough to explain that...but Blessed John Paul II did exceptionally in Theology of the Body. If marriage is redefined by the State then, even though they insist that religious institutions will not be required to perform these services, it will fundamentally undermine marriage as a whole. It will utterly distort the roots and source of what this amazing and holy sacrament is, it will uproot even further people's conception of what marriage is all about and why two people enter into it, it will totally devalue it too. (Anneli has written a superb article on the St. John's Pro Life blog as part of the Back to Basics series. You can read it here, you certainly won't regret it!)
All this having been said there has been a lot of misunderstanding and, sadly, venom from both sides which means we both here or add your name to it in paper form in the porch at St. John's. Action is most definitely necessary but there is no need to be rude or unkind in this situation. Christ's message was love, Christ's gift of marriage is to help man and woman truly express their love, to bring it to fulfillment, if we act without it then we will accomplish nothing.