PART III: LIFE IN CHRIST
Section Two: The Ten Commandments
Chapter 2: “You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself”
Article 6, The Sixth Commandment
III. The Love of Husband and Wife
Conjugal fidelity (cont’d)
§ 2365 Fidelity expresses constancy in keeping one’s given word. God is faithful. The Sacrament of Matrimony enables man and woman to enter into Christ’s fidelity for His Church. Through conjugal chastity, they bear witness to this mystery before the world.
- St. John Chrysostom suggests that young husbands should say to their wives: “I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us…I place your love above all things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you” (HAE 20, 8: PG 62, 146-147).
The fecundity [fruitfulness] of marriage
§ 2366 Fecundity is a gift, an end [result] of marriage, for conjugal love naturally tends to be fruitful. A child does not come from outside as something added-on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit and fulfillment. So the Church, which is “on the side of life” (FC 30), teaches that “it is necessary that each and every marriage act remain ordered per se to the procreation of human life” (HV 11). “This particular doctrine, expounded on numerous occasions by the Magisterium, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act” (HV 12; cf. CaCo).
§ 2367 Called to give life, spouses share in the creative power and Fatherhood of God (cf. Eph 3:14; Mt 23:9). “Married couples should regard it as their proper mission to transmit human life and to educate their children; they should realize that they are thereby cooperating with the Love of God the Creator and are, in a certain sense, its interpreters. They will fulfill this duty with a sense of human and Christian responsibility” (GS 50 § 2).
Tomorrow – The fecundity [fruitfulness] of marriage (to be continued)
(Part III, Section 2, Chapter 2, Article 6 – to be continued)
[Editor’s Note: The abbreviations in today’s posting are noted below.]
- “CaCo” – Pope Pius XI (Dec 1930), “Casti Connubii [Chaste Wedlock]”
- “cf.” – “confer ”
- “FC” – Pope St. John Paul II (Nov 1981), “Familiaris Consortio [At the Service of the Family]”
- “GS” – “Gaudium et Spes [Joy and Hope]”, Vatican Council II
- “HAE” – St. John Chrysostom, “Homiliae in ad Ephesios [Homilies on Ephesians]”
- “HV” – Pope St. Paul VI (July 1968), “Humanae Vitae [Of Human Life]”
- “PG” – “Patrologia Graeca [Greek Patrology]”, an enormous collection of writings of the Church Fathers and other ecclesiastical writers in the Greek language published by J. P. Migne, (Paris, 1857‑1866 A.D.)