Published on March 1, 2014
The sacrament of marriage CHAMPAIGNE, Philippe de The Marriage of the Virgin c. 1644 Oil on panel, 71,5 x 143,5 cm Wallace Collection, London Taken from: http://www.arguments.es/portfolio/compendium-of-the-catechism/
Compendium of the Catechism 338. For what ends has God instituted Matrimony? 1659-1660 The marital union of man and woman, which is founded and endowed with its own proper laws by the Creator, is by its very nature ordered to the communion and good of the couple and to the generation and education of children. According to the original divine plan this conjugal union is indissoluble, as Jesus Christ affirmed: “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (Mark 10:9).
Introduction The way parents love their children, and the way they care for each other, makes us think of the greatness of the sacrament of marriage. Do we properly thank our parents for all they do for us? Do we help them when in need? Do we try to make them happy? Do we pray for them every day? DAVID, Gerard The Marriage at Cana c. 1500 Oil on wood, 100 x 128 cm Musée du Louvre, Paris
1. The institution of marriage in the Garden of Eden "God created them male and female. He blessed them, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth’”(Genesis 1:27-28). This is the institution of marriage: its main purpose consists in having children and educating them ; Its secondary purpose is the mutual help of the spouses: "It is not right that the man should be alone. I shall make him a helper" (Genesis 2:18). Therefore, marriage is something sacred by nature, and the spouses are God’s co-operators: they participate in God’s power to give life. BOUCICAUT Master The marriage of Adam and Eve from 'Des Proprietes De Chozes‘ c.1415 Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, UK
2. Marriage is a Christian sacrament Jesus Christ raised marriage, instituted at the beginning of humanity, to the dignity of a sacrament. Marriage between Christians is an image of the union between Christ and His spouse, the Church. Thus, Catholics cannot marry by means of so-called “civil marriage”, because it is only a legal ceremony before the State. Among Catholics, marriage is only valid when contracted within the Church. MYUNG-BO SIM St. Patrick's Cathedral 1990 New York, Private Collection
3. The properties of marriage Unity means that marriage is the union between one man and only one woman: “A man shall leave his father and mother and become attached to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Indissolubility means that the marital bond can never be dissolved: “What God has united, human beings must not divide” as is written in the Gospel (Matthew 19,6; 5,32). Divorce therefore is prohibited. God wanted it that way for several reasons: for the good of the children and for the good and happiness of the spouses; It is also a good for the whole human society, because humanity is made up of families. ALMA – TADERNA, Sir Lawrence The honeymoon Private collection
4. The effects of the sacrament of marriage Marriage increases the sanctifying grace in those who marry. It has to be received in the state of grace; if not, even though the marriage is valid, it becomes a sacrilege. Marriage also confers on the spouses the help necessary to sanctify themselves in married life, to educate their children and to carry out their other marital duties. concerning each other: to love and respect each other, to be faithful to each other and to help each other mutually; concerning their children: to feed them, to clothe them, to educate them religiously, morally and intellectually, and to provide for their future. The contracting parties are themselves the ministers of the sacrament; however, marriage ought to be celebrated before witnesses and in the presence of the parish priest or his delegate; if not, it is invalid. CABRERA, Miguel A Spaniard and his Mexican Indian Wife and their Child Museo de America, Madrid
5. Marriage, a path to sanctity The sacrament of marriage grants to the spouses the graces necessary to sanctify themselves and others. It is the duty of the whole family – of the children too – to foster in a natural way the Christian atmosphere of a bright and cheerful home, sacrificing themselves to obtain the human and supernatural virtues proper to a family which was made holy by a sacrament from its beginning. GRECO, El The Marriage of the Virgin 1613-14 Oil on canvas, 110 x 83 cm National Museum of Art of Romania, Bucharest
Resolutions for Christian life Make an effort to make life more pleasant for those who live with us. Have great regard for this sacrament, and help others to understand it and thank God for it.
BATTEN, John Dickson (1860-1932) The Family Oil on canvas, 1886 Collection of Fred and Sherry Ross The fourth commandment: Honour your father and your mother http://www.arguments.es
Compendium of the Catechism 455. What does the fourth commandment require? 2196-2200 2247-2248 It commands us to honor and respect our parents and those whom God, for our good, has vested with his authority.
Introduction God wishes that, after him, we honour our parents. But this commandment also includes those members of our family, such as grandparents and ancestors, to whom we owe honour, affection and recognition. This commandment also includes the duties of students towards teachers, employees towards employers, subordinates towards superiors, citizens towards their country and those who rule and govern. BERGAMINI, Francesco (1815-1883) Family Time in the Kitchen Oil on canvas 27 7/8 x 17 7/8 inches (71.1 x 45.7 cm) Public collection
1. Meaning of the fourth commandment BLOMMERS, Bernardus Johannes (1845-1914) The Family Meal Oil on canvas 15 1/2 x 20 inches (39.5 x 51 cm) Private collection The fourth commandment reminds us of our obligations to our parents: love, respect and obedience. The conduct of Jesus towards Mary his mother, and towards Joseph who acted as his father, is an example that should be imitated by all. The fourth commandment also includes the respect and obedience due to those who occupy positions of authority, such as teachers, ecclesiastical and civil authorities, the leaders of one’s country, etc.
2. Duties of children towards their parents Love: We have to pray for them, to give them motives to be happy and cheerful, and to help them within our possibilities, particularly when they are sick or old. Respect and gratitude: If parents have some defect or peculiarity, especially when they grow old, or if they do not behave properly, we have to pray, understand and excuse them, hiding their defects and trying to help them to overcome those defects, without ever making any critical comments. Due obedience, as long as their wish is not against God’s will. VON DEFREGGER, Franz (1835-1921) The Happy Family Oil on panel, 1884 17 3/4 x 10 1/2 inches (45.1 x 26.7 cm) Private collection
3. Other obligations of the fourth commandment The fourth commandment includes, besides parents, other persons to whom obedience, love and respect are due: BERGAMINI, Francesco (1815-1883) The School Room Oil on canvas 20 x 32 inches (51 x 81.3 cm) Private collection Brothers. Relatives and friends. Teachers and benefactors. Pastors of the Church. Duties towards our country and civil authorities.
4. Duties of parents towards their children Parents should love, sustain and educate their children: provide for their spiritual and material needs, giving them a solid human and Christian formation. In order to achieve this, they ought to pray for them and employ adequate means such as: giving them good example, counselling them, taking them to good schools, being watchful over their friendships, etc. Once they have counselled their children, parents ought to respect and encourage their offspring’s vocation, both on the human and supernatural planes, when they choose their path in life. L’HERMITTE, Léon-Augustin (1844-1925) La Famille [The Family] Oil on canvas, 1908 Private collection
5. To observe with love the duties of this commandment MENGS, Anton Raphael (1728-1779) The Holy Family Oil on canvas, 1769 44 x 35 3/4 inches (112 x 91 cm) Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest Observing the fourth commandment brings with it a reward: “Honour your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land that Yahweh your God is giving you" (Exodus , 20:12). God blesses with spiritual and material blessings of peace and prosperity. On the contrary, not keeping this commandment entails serious harm, not only for individuals, but also for the community.
Resolutions to move forward Examine your conscience to see if you fulfil your duties towards your parents, brothers and superiors. Pray every day for your parents, brothers and superiors.
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