Drink from the Spring of Love

Jesus Christ makes a man and a woman husband and wife upon receiving the sacrament of marriage. Through it, God binds the newlyweds with indissoluble bonds of love, stands by them and makes them an icon of the Holy Trinity.

Marriage is the road to sanctity

Spouses should remember that in the sacrament of marriage Jesus Christ is always present with them and that the most important goal of their life is growing in love, or in other words, growing in sanctity. Pope Francis stresses the supernatural dimension of sacramental marriage, writing that it is: “a path which the Lord is using to lead them [married couples – eds.] to the heights of mystical union” (Amoris laetitia, 316). Concerning marriage vows, the assumption is made that the only source of mutual love, faithfulness and honesty between spouses is Jesus Christ, who makes himself permanently present in the sacrament of marriage. It must be remembered, however, that Christ’s love is present in the hearts of spouses only when they abide in the state of sanctifying grace. Therefore, their greatest concern and obligation should be to rise immediately from every grave sin by availing themselves of the sacrament of penance.

The mutual love of spouses, rooted in Christ’s love, extends to children, other relatives and the broader ranges of society. When spouses take the effort to fight excessive pride and selfishness, and to an ever higher degree let Christ be the only master of their life, then their sanctity grows. In addition, they begin to see the new horizons of their union and acquire the certainty of faith that Jesus is present in their marital communion. They love Christ, who has the facial features of the spouse. They love their spouses freely and selflessly, desiring but one thing: that they belong completely to God. Only in unity with Christ is the love of husband and wife true and endless. But sanctity in marriage is by no means a simple and easy goal, because marital union is composed of two persons, each having different characters and entirely different life stories. Love in marriage can be achieved only when each of the spouses embarks in earnest on the road to sanctity (growing in humility and patience) whilst at the same time caring with his or her entire soul for the sanctity of the other spouse.

A question worth asking is: Do I pray and sacrifice myself for the cause of making my spouse open to the presence and action of God? Without Christ, the husband and wife, left to themselves, will not make it! Hence, prayer is necessary. St. Maximilian Kolbe reminds us about it: “Napoleon was once asked what was needed to win a battle. He replied: ‘You need three things: money, money and once again money’. The same is true in connection to the sanctification of souls: you need prayer, prayer and once again prayer.”

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