Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Characteristic Marks and Demands… Part II cont

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on October 30, 2008

Conjugal Love:  Characteristic Marks of, and Demands of

Its Characteristics

This love is first of all fully human, that is to say, of the senses and of the spirit at the same time. It is [NOT], then, a simple transport of instinct and sentiment, but also, and principally, an act of the free will, intended to endure and to grow by means of the joys and sorrows of daily life, in such a way that husband and wife become one only heart and one only soul, and together attain their human perfection.(cf. Eph 5:26-27)

Then, this love is total, that is to say, it is a very special form of personal friendship, in which husband and wife generously share everything, without undue reservations or selfish calculations. Whoever truly loves his marriage partner loves not only for what he receives, but for the partner’s self, rejoicing that he can enrich his partner with the gift of himself. (1Cor 13:4-8a)

(Question: If you are cut off from one another by the use of contraception – something that prevents contact – how can you truly share everything? Also, by cutting yourself off from the other, are you not practicing selfish calculations because of your use of the other for your own pleasure?)

(FACT: Did you know the divorce rate doubled as a result of contraception becoming accepted an more readily available?  Stands to reason, if you can have sex without worrying about the “consequences”, then why worry about your spouse finding out?  Also, you stop sharing yourself with your spouse, why do you expect them to continue to trust you?)

Again, this love is faithful and exclusive until death. Thus in fact do bride and groom conceive it to be on the day when they freely and in full awareness assume the duty of the marriage bond. A fidelity, this, which can sometimes be difficult, but is always possible, always noble and meritorious, as no one can deny.

The example of so many married persons down through the centuries shows, not only that fidelity is according to the nature of marriage, but also that it is a source of profound and lasting happiness and finally, this love is fecund for it is not exhausted by the communion between husband and wife, but is destined to continue, raising up new lives.

“Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the begetting and educating of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute very substantially to the welfare of their parents.” (GS§50)

Now it’s time we DEBUNK the modern day notion of RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD.

Responsible Parenthood

10. Hence conjugal love requires in husband and wife an awareness of their mission of “responsible parenthood,” which today is rightly much insisted upon, and which also must be exactly understood. Consequently it is to be considered under different aspects which are legitimate and connected with one another. (1-4)

In relation to the 1) biological processes, responsible parenthood means the knowledge and respect of their functions; human intellect discovers in the power of giving life biological laws which are part of the human person. (Cf. St. Thomas, Summa Theologica, I-II, q. 94, art. 2)

In relation to the 2) tendencies of instinct or passion, responsible parenthood means that necessary dominion which reason and will must exercise over them. (Reminder: this is NOT Lust! See 2. 2) A change…)

In relation to 3) physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised, either by the deliberate and generous decision to raise a numerous family, or by the decision, made for grave motives and with due respect for the moral law, to avoid for the time being, or even for an indeterminate period, a new birth.

Responsible parenthood also and above all implies a more profound relationship to the 4) objective moral order established by God, of which a right conscience is the faithful interpreter.

The responsible exercise of parenthood implies:

…that husband and wife recognize fully their own duties:

a) towards God,
b) towards themselves,
c) towards the family
d) towards society

…in a correct hierarchy of values.

(Get it?  There IS a hierarchy of values that ALL human beings should embrace!  We SHOULD value God, ourselves, family, and then society – and IN THAT ORDER. For if we valued God and our relationship with Him, we would not be able to mortally hurt ourselves, and we certainly wouldn’t be able to mortally hurt those around us -cf Mt 22:36-40.   Strange how our modern society – the culture of death –  is EXACTLY the OPPOSITE. )

In the task of transmitting life, therefore,
they are not free to proceed completely at will,
as if they could determine in a wholly autonomous way
the honest path to follow;
but they must conform their activity to the creative intention of God,
expressed in the very nature of marriage and of its acts,
and manifested by the constant teaching of the Church.” (GS§50,51)

Tomorrow: The Marriage Act: What is it and why does it deserve our respect? (a key question for our society today, yes?)

Previous Posts:

All Life is Sacred
Why Humanae Vitae?
The Meat of Humanae Vitae


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