So there we have it!!
From the very beginning, Jesus has said that there are those who give up marriage for the sake of the Kingdom
This does not diminish the good of marriage
Marriage is such a great good that I am giving up this great good for the Kingdom
If I were to diminish marriage, I would also diminish virginity
If I diminish virginity, I also diminish marriage
St. John Chrysostom says in Paragraph 1620, “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 truly good. The most excellent good is something even better than what is admitted to be good.”
There are people who are consecrated virgins for the sake of the Kingdom
We need their witness, especially in a world where there is so much hedonism
The world asks us how can we possibly be happy if we aren’t having sex?
In response, we have these brothers and sisters, monks and nuns, and priests who are consecrated in the world
All these people have given up marriage for the sake of the Kingdom
They are living witnesses that you can have joy even without a sexual relationship
You can have joy and freedom in giving yourself in love and in service and in prayer with the Lord
Just look at the joy of those people who are living their celibacy in consecrated life well
Those who live their marriage well give witness to the goodness of marriage
Those who don’t live their marriage well don’t give witness to the goodness of marriage
Same thing when it comes to celibacy and consecrated virginity for the sake of the Kingdom
Those who are living it well give witness
Those who don’t live it well are not good examples
THE CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGE
What is it?
It usually takes place during Holy Mass
BECAUSE THE EUCHARIST IS THE SOURCE AND THE SUMMIT OF ALL CHRISTIAN LIFE!!
It is most fitting that when there is marriage between two Catholics, it is going to be in the context of the Mass
THIS IS SO SO IMPORTANT!!
Paragraph 1622 says, “‘Inasmuch as it is a sacramental action of sanctification, the liturgical celebration of marriage…must be, per se, valid, worthy, and fruitful.’”
VALID means both members of the couple are free to marry
There are no impediments to marriage
For example, if one or both of the couple had been married before without a declaration of nullity, they would not be free to marry
That would be an impediment
If there is not FULL FREEDOM then that is an impediment to marry
If there is not the intention for faithfulness
If there is not the intention of giving oneself totally to the other
These are both impediments
If someone did not have the intention or even openness to new life, that is an impediment
If the couple was not able to consummate the marriage in the sexual embrace, that is not a valid marriage
Paragraph 1623 says, “According to the Latin tradition, the spouses as minister’s of Christ’s grace mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their consent before the Church.”
Fr. Mike has never married anyone
Because the proper ministers of the Sacrament of Matrimony are the BRIDE AND GROOM
The groom gives the Sacrament of Matrimony to his bride
The bride gives the Sacrament of Matrimony to her groom
The priest is there AS A WITNESS
Paragraph 1623 continues, “In the traditions of the Eastern Churches, the priests (bishops or presbyters) are witnesses to the mutual consent given by the spouses, but for the validity of the sacrament their blessing is also necessary.”
There are many aspects of the liturgy
There are some really beautiful prayers
Paragraph 1624 says, “The various liturgies abound in prayers of blessing and epiclesis asking God’s grace and blessing on the new couple, especially the bride. In the epiclesis of this sacrament the spouses receive the Holy Spirit as the communion of love of Christ and the Church.”
This is called the NUPTIAL BLESSING
It happens right after the OUR FATHER and before the sign of peace
The congregation remains standing as the bride and groom kneel
The priest extends his hands and says the prayer of blessing
There are three different options to choose from
The prayer praises God and asks God to bless the couple
Then the priest turns to the bride and says, “And God I ask for your special blessing upon this woman, that she may be like those women whose praises are sung throughout the Scriptures. May her husband entrust his heart to her, consider her his equal, and realize that she is the joint heir with him into the life of grace.”
Once a couple is married, everything they do they do as a married person
TWO BECOME ONE!!
Right after the exchange of rings, it goes into the prayers of the faithful
Fr. Mike invites couples to have an instrumental song and the couple goes to kneel before the Tabernacle or side chapel or bring flowers to the Statue of Mary etc.
They take this moment to take a breath and pray
It’s an incredible sign that the first thing that these couples will do after their wedding as a married couple is PRAY
THAT IS SO POWERFUL!!
It’s such a powerful witness because everything the couple will do from now on will be as embodying the sacrament
Paragraph 1624 continues, “The Holy Spirit is the seal of their covenant, the ever-available source of their love and the strength to renew their fidelity.”
Everything a husband does will be as a husband
Everything the wife does will be as a wife
Marriage is a living, walking, breathing, choosing, loving sacrament
THAT IS SO INCREDIBLE!!
Fr. Mike is a big fan of marriage
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!