Pontiff takes men to task on marriage at Wednesday audience
Dear Brothers and Sisters: Continuing our catechesis on the family, we now reflect on the beauty of Christian marriage, that sacrament which builds up the community of the Church and society. Marriage has been inscribed in creation’s design by God, and, by his grace, countless Christian men and women have lived married life fully. Marriage is an act of faith in God’s plan for humanity and an act of selfless love. Saint Paul tells us that married love is an image of the love between Christ and his Church; a husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the Church, by giving himself completely for her. When a man and a woman marry in the Lord, they participate in the missionary life of the Church, by living not only for themselves or their own family, but for all people. Therefore the life of the Church is enriched through every marriage which shows forth this beauty, and is impoverished when marriage is disfigured in any way. A couple which faithfully and courageously lives the grace of this sacrament assists the Church in offering the gifts of faith, hope and love to all people, and helps others to experience these gifts in their married lives and their families. May married couples live this mystery ever more fully, trusting in God’s tenderness and the Church’s maternal care.
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