Write In Between

Friday, July 27, 2007

Loving the Bride, vol. 33

Something old....

God's Loving Design

Married love particularly reveals its true nature and nobility when we realize that it takes its origin from God, who "is love," the Father "from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named."

Marriage, then, is far from being the effect of chance or the result of the blind evolution of natural forces. It is in reality the wise and provident institution of God the Creator, whose purpose was to effect in man His loving design. As a consequence, husband and wife, through that mutual gift of themselves, which is specific and exclusive to them alone, develop that union of two persons in which they perfect one another, cooperating with God in the generation and rearing of new lives.

The marriage of those who have been baptized is, in addition, invested with the dignity of a sacramental sign of grace, for it represents the union of Christ and His Church.

-----Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, 1968.

Something new....

This [is] the great question...

What did Jesus actually bring, if not world peace, universal prosperity, and a better world? What has he brought?

The answer is very simple: God. He has brought God.

...who formally unveiled his countenance gradually, first to Abraham, then to Moses... the God who revealed his face only in Israel... [now] he has brought him to the nations of the earth.

He has brought God, and now we know his face, now we can call upon him. Now we know the path that we human beings have to take in this world. Jesus has brought God and with God the truth about our origin and destiny: faith, hope, and love. It is only because of our hardness of heart that we think this is too little.

-----Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, 2007

Something borrowed....

Bob and I are coming up on 25 years married this October. We have practiced chastity and promote it whenever necessary. Patrice over at Spiritual Woman has got a great post advocating NFP (natural family planning) and I wanted to add my endorsement--especially after nearly 25 years of trying to live the Catholic call in love and marriage.

Something blue....

While this is not a Marian prayer per se, since we're lifting up marriage here today, I thought I'd include this prayer, especially for all the women reading this. Some of you may recognize and remember this if you were married at a Nuptial Mass in the Catholic Church. It is the Nuptial Blessing the Bride receives (-- and yes, it is truly Marian in that it is a call to holiness as a spouse as Mary was):

O God, by Your mighty power You made all things out of nothing. First, You set the beginnings of the universe in order. Then, You made man in Your image, and appointed woman to be his inseparable helpmate. Thus You made woman's body from the flesh of man, thereby teaching that what You have been pleased to institute from one principle might never lawfully be put asunder.

O God, You have sanctified marriage by a mystery so excellent that in the marriage union You foreshadowed the union of Christ and the Church.

O God, You join woman to man, and You endow that fellowship with a blessing which was not taken away in punishment for original sin nor by the sentence of the flood. Look, in Your mercy, upon this Your handmaid, about to be joined in wedlock, who entreats You to protect and strengthen her. Let the yoke of marriage to her be one of love and peace. Faithful and chaste, let her marry in Christ.

Let her ever follow the model of holy women: let her be dear to her husband like Rachel; wise like Rebecca; long-lived and faithful like Sara. Let the author of sin work none of his evil deeds within her; let her ever keep the Faith and the commandments.

Let her be true to one wedlock and shun all sinful embraces; let her strengthen weakness by stern discipline. Let her be grave in demeanor, honorable for her modesty, learned in heavenly doctrine, fruitful in children. Let her life be good and innocent. Let her come finally to the rest of the blessed in the kingdom of heaven.

May they both see their children's children to the third and fourth generation, thus attaining the old age which they desire. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end.


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