Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Marriage as Sacrament

I'm reading a spiritually rich book right now by Dietrich von Hildebrand called "Marriage, the Mystery of Faithful Love." I want to share with you this short passage in the foreword to this edition, published by Sophia Institute Press, by the late archbishop of New York, John Cardinal O'Connor.

"Marriage as a Sacrament, then, becomes the concrete, earthly expression and incarnation of God's saving love for each of us. Herein lies the essence of the sacramentality of marriage: through the loving marital relationship, God continues to make known His presence in the world.

"In effect, when marital love and commitment that is open to life is expressed, God continues to take on flesh. God's love, therefore, does not simply transcend our own flesh, but rather comes and dwells in our midst. For a Christian, then, the vision of marriage must be rooted in one's commitment to Jesus and faith in Him as Lord.

"Jesus announced the advent of His Kingdom as one of tenderness and intimacy. He speaks of a God whose love, mercy, and forgiveness is extravagant, limitless, and without reservation. He is a God of concern who is totally and permanently faithful in bringing Creation to fulfillment by constantly drawing us back to Himself, the source of all goodness. Since marriage is the living, tangible, sacramental sign of this love, these characteristics are to be expressed and experienced in the marital relationship."


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