THEME 6: HUMAN LOVE: SERVING AND PROTECTING LIFE

1. Opening song/hymn

2. The Lord's Prayer

3. Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 1: 22-23

"Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere love of the brethren, love one another earnestly from the heart. You have been born anew, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God."

4. A Reading from the Teaching of the Church:

The Spirit which the Lord pours forth gives a new heart, and renders man and woman capable of loving one another as Christ has loved us. Conjugal love reaches that fullness to which it is interiorly ordained, conjugal charity, which is the proper and specific way in which the spouses participate in an and are called to live the very charity of Christ, who gave himself on the cross.

Precisely because the love of husband and wife is a unique participation in the mystery of life and of the love of God himself, the Church knows that she has received the special mission of guarding and protecting the lofty dignity of marriage and the most serious responsibility of the transmission of human life.

Thus (the Magisterium)...reaffirms and reproposes with clarity the Church's teaching and norm, always old yet always new, regarding marriage and regarding the transmission of human life...(as the Second Vatican Council and the Magisterium of the Popes teach)...that love between husband and wife must be fully human, exclusive and open to new life.

The Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae affirms:..the Church, which interprets natural law through its unchanging doctrine, reminds men and women that the teachings based on natural law must be be obeyed and teaches that it is necessary that each conjugal act remain ordained in itself to the procreating of human life (n. 11).

When couples, by means of recourse to contraception, separate these two meanings that God has inscribed in the being of man and woman and in the dynamism of their sexual communion, they act as "arbiters" of the divine plan and they "manipulate" and degrade human sexuality and with it themselves and their married partner by altering its value of "total" self-giving.

Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life, but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality.

In the context of a culture which seriously distorts or entirely misinterprets the true meaning of human sexuality because it separates it from its essential reference to the person, the Church more urgently feels how irreplaceable is her mission of presenting sexuality as a value and task of the whole person, created male and female in the image of God.

In this perspective the Second Vatican Council clearly affirmed that "when there is a question of harmonizing conjugal love with the responsible transmission of life, the moral aspect of any procedure does not depend solely on sincere intentions or on an evaluation of motives. It must be determined by objective standards. These, based on the nature of the human person and his or her acts, preserve the full sense of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love. Such a goal cannot be achieved unless the virtue of conjugal chastity is sincerely practised." (Gaudium et Spes, 51) (cf. Gaudium et Spes, Humanae Vitae, Familiaris Consortio)

5. The Bishop's Reflection

6. Dialogue:

What are the moral requirements for rightly living married love?

Why is contraception opposed to the goodness of married love?

What links are there between contraception, infidelity, abortion and divorce?

7. Commitments

8. Psalm 15 (16)

"Defend me, my God, for in you I take refuge."

9. Hail Mary....Queen of the Family: Pray for us.

10. Prayer for the Family

11. Final song/hymn

   

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