Faith (Customize for your parish here)
Introduction: The Context of Marriage Today • Marriage – a wonderful gift and an awesome responsibility • A married couple is also a part of society and the Church • Time and social context have an impact on marriage
Positive Aspects of the Context of Marriage Today • Stronger awareness of personal freedom • More attention to the quality of the marital relationship • Greater realization of the dignity of women • More attention to the education of children and responsible procreation • Realization that families must work together
Negative Aspects of the Context of Marriage Today • A type of individualism that can be threatening to the relationship • Confusion about the roles of parents and children • Challenge of passing on moral values • Increasing divorce rates • Utilitarian view of human life
God has a plan for marriage • Link between faith and everyday life is essential • Benefits of integrating marriage and spiritual life have been recognized by secular mental health researchers as well because of associations with more marital satisfaction, decreased conflict, etc.
Overview of this series • Marriage & Faith • Marriage & Communication • Marriage & Sexuality • Marriage & Stewardship
Marriage and Faith • See self-assessment • Discuss: • Your early experiences of God and faith • What role you would like to see God and faith play in your marriage
God’s Plan and Marriage Today • In the U.S., almost 1 million marriages end in divorce each year • 50% of marriages will eventually end in divorce • Source of hope: God has a plan for your marriage – “The Christian faith constitutes the only fully valid response…to the problems and hopes that life poses to every person and society”(Christifideles Laici)
In the Image and Likeness of God • Genesis 1:27 • Who is God? God is a Trinity – one God in a communion of Three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit • Trinity is hard to understand; in marriage, a similar mystery: two become one flesh (Mark 10:7-8) • Catechism 2205: In our communion with one another, we become a visible sign of the Trinity
A Sign of Christ and the Church • Ephesians 5: Relationship of husbands and wives compared with relationship of Christ and the Church • This image is repeated in Revelation with Christ as the bridegroom and the Church as his bride • Husbands and wives called to give up pride so they can give themselves completely to one another (see Ep. 5:28-30)
Sacraments: Signs and Realities • Sacrament: visible sign of an invisible reality • Through the sacraments, we share in God’s life; we encounter and understand the spiritual world • Sacraments are objects and human actions (things we can see) that show God’s grace and actions (things we can’t see)
Marriage as a Sacrament • Human actions: exchange of vows, reception of consent by the priest or deacon • God’s action: the joining of the two persons in marriage – two made one by God • Most complete visible sign of this unity is sexual act; couples who remain open to grace of sacrament become a sign of communion of the Trinity and Christ’s union with the Church.
Your Relationship with Christ and the Church • How well do you know that which you are called to reflect? • Can we imitate something we don’t know very much about?
Your Relationship with Christ and the Church • Connecting with Christ • RCIA for those who are not already part of the Church • Baptized Catholics can reconnect through the sacrament of Penance • Ongoing growth in Christ – prayer, attendance at Mass, reading Scripture, connecting with the Christian community. Can’t maintain relationships with those we don’t spend time with.
Reflection • How is the Catholic view of marriage different from the secular world’s view?
Prayer • See prayer, p. 18