Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Marriage as Sacrament

It was a beautiful fall day today. The trees are finally changing colors (about a week or two late) and with the sun shining on them they were absolutely gorgeous. The boys and I had playgroup at the park this morning. It is always so nice to get together with other moms! I look forward to it every week.

I was reading through more of Pope Benedict XVI's "Called to Communion: Understanding the Church Today" (I had the name wrong in a previous post - my apologies). He was discussing the priesthood and why it is a sacramental state of life. He writes: "This service, in which we are made the entire property of another, this giving of what does not come from us, is called sacrament in the language of the Church."

I have never heard "sacrament" described this way. Primarily, it is defined as a sign of a greater reality. I like Pope Benedict's description, however, when it comes to the sacraments of vocation - holy orders and matrimony. (One might argue that consecrated religious life should be in the category as well). For marriage is a sacrament as well, and in it, we too give what does not belong to us to another. We each belong to God and we stand at the marriage altar and promise to live out the love that God has for Godself. In some ways, a marriage reflects the trinitarian love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We give ourselves over to another. And of course we live that love imperfectly because we are imperfect people. It is only with God's help that we can even come close to living out the sacramental reality that marriage should be.

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