The Living Sacrament: Marriage
(continued)

We can see that since God has designed matrimony as a Sacrament, those who are joined together possess unique, personal qualities that each should share and help transform to supernatural levels in each other. That invisible Presence that binds them together must become visible by their love for each other, their family life, their growth in holiness, their concern for the needs of others, their faithfulness and their perseverance in daily good.

Like the Eternal Father a man is the head of the family unit. He is that family's protector and provider. He has within him the seed of life. His obligations to his family require that he both give and receive. As he cooperates with the Father he exercises the power within him to bring new life into the world. He takes the spiritual elements of that life and guides it by word and deed back to the Father of all. He is to be compassionate, merciful and understanding. The lives under his care are to be led, not pushed into the Kingdom. His protection is to be tempered by his discernment so those under his care can blossom slowly and take on the full flavor of holiness. He is to correct with gentleness, measuring punishment with the rod of compassion and not personal anger. His attitudes towards his partner should be that of a "helpmate." The book of Genesis tells us that God said it was not good for man to live alone and so He gave him a "helpmate" - someone in whom he could confide - help him make decisions - comfort him - love him and be as one with him. There is no question of one being superior and the other inferior - it is the harmony of two individuals living as one and performing their different roles as one. These roles dovetail and are only complete when both are faithful to the part given them by the Father. These roles cannot be exchanged, because neither possesses the qualities, dispositions, power or temperament of the other. Each possesses those special qualities given by God to perform their specific role of building each other into that one temple from which the Lord God reigns.

The woman is a gentle, loving bond who encourages, consoles, builds, reconciles and makes all things new and vibrant. The woman is strength in time of suffering, courageous in failure, intuitive in time of danger. A woman is ingenuous when all fails, resourceful in times of want, and a true helpmate for man.

A man is strong in body, keen in mind, practical and inventive. He is protective and comforting, full of assurance, confidence and self-knowledge with special abilities to provide and care for his family. A man needs someone to appreciate his ability, to listen and to hear. How lonely he would be without those special qualities his helpmate, woman gives him.

We can see that since God has designed matrimony as a Sacrament, those who are joined together possess unique, personal qualities that each should share and help transform to supernatural levels in each other. That invisible Presence that binds them together must become visible by their love for each other, their family life, their growth in holiness, their concern for the needs of others, their faithfulness and their perseverance in daily good.

The Trinity that keeps their love for each other growing, begins to manifest each of the Divine Persons in the family unit. The Eternal Father is manifested in the growing qualities of compassion and mercy as man slowly absorbs the qualities of gentleness and understanding visible in the woman. Jesus is manifested in the growing qualities of humility and meekness as woman slowly absorbs the qualities of strength and self-knowledge in man. Their growing love for each other produces images of themselves in children and this completes the family circle - the visible sign of the invisible Trinity.

The knowledge the Eternal Father has of Himself is the Son and the love that proceeds from both is the Holy Spirit. In turn, in the family unit man manifests the qualities of the Father and woman the qualities of Jesus. Children, proceeding from love, manifest the Spirit. Each are distinct though all are one. Each have qualities of soul the other needs. Each share in each other's qualities and so become more transformed into their model -the Eternal Trinity.

Though those living this Sacrament may fall short, let them always have in their mind the heights of their vocation - the call to holiness and the designs of the Father as He joined them together and made them one.


 

 

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