The Last Word
Back to basics, to the basics of our faith in the sacrament of matrimony!
Instituted by God before the fall of our first parents for the propagation of mankind, marriage has always been considered by all developed civilizations an institution tied to religion and to sacred matters. Before Our Lord Jesus Christ, it was already a sacred sign of something holy, although not yet a sacrament: “Marriage has been from the very beginning an image of the Incarnation of the Word” (Leo XIII).
Tradition then adds that it was likely at Cana where that Our Lord, by His presence and His first miracle, added a new supernatural, sacramental virtue to this mysterious link between a man and a woman, and a new and great signification: His sacrificing love for His Church.
Remember: we are created in the image of God, and the charity of Christ remains forever.Therefore, Christian matrimony in the Divine Plan eminently signifies this Divine Love, faithful and fruitful, and is thus exclusive and indissoluble.
“What God has joined together…” applies not simply to the marriage bond, but also to the indissoluble union between the contract and the sacrament for two baptized persons. These two states are also so “one” that Pope Pius IX condemned those who say that “by virtue of a purely civil contract there can be a true marriage between Christians” or, in other words, he condemned those who say that “it is false to say that the contract of marriage between Christians is always a sacrament, or, if there is not contract, there is no sacrament” (Syllabus #73, #66). For two Christians, contract and sacrament are always one. One alone cannot receive the sacrament; it’s either both or nothing.
The conciliar revolution now deepens: by seeking to separate the contract and the sacrament of matrimony (which is the motive behind the recognition of civil unions and the issue of communion to divorcees), matrimony, originally instituted as a sacrament of the New Law “as a remedy against the wound of sin” (St. Thomas), now is reduced to a simple civil union. This singular status will rather establish people in the state of sin, out of which it will be very difficult to emerge, thus to be saved eternally.
Have mercy on us, O Lord!
Fr. Daniel Couture