THE SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE
[continued from yesterday]
It is part of God's providence that when He sets before us an end to be attained He provides us also with the means of attaining that end. So in the case of marriage, having ordained it for the high purpose of preparing souls for heaven, God has endowed it with qualities which make it an apt instrument for the purpose for which it was instituted.
These qualities are revealed in the truth of Christ and the Church. Christ's Church was to be one only, and it was to last until the end of time.
The bond of Christian marriage must likewise be one only and must last until broken by death.
Unity and perpetuity are the qualities which make the marriage state specially fitted for the great object of bringing children into the world, of nourishing them in body, mind, and spirit, of bringing them to the final perfection for which man was created.
If the bringing of children into the world is attended with great pain and labor, the bringing of their souls to perfection is attended with still greater pain and labor. It requires nothing else than the united life and love of both parents.
Now such is the nature of man and woman that they cannot love effectually with a divided love.
Let either partner give the other the slightest cause for jealousy and there is an end of that perfect love and harmony in the family which is so needful for the well-being of the children.
The archtype of perfect love is the mutual love of the three Persons of the blessed Trinity. One of the fairest created reflections of that love is the triple love of family life, the love of husband, wife, and child. It will brook no intrusion from without. It cannot bear the prospect of it coming to an end.
This is a fundamental and universal law of nature, a law of nature which is accentuated, ennobled, and made perfect by a law of grace.
The Sacrament of matrimony implies a special divine sanction to the laws of unity and perpetuity in the marriage bond....
From Marriage and Parenthood, The Catholic Ideal
By the Rev. Thomas J. Gerrard
Author of "Cords of Adam," "The Wayfarer's Vision," ETC.
Copyright, 1911, by Joseph F. Wagner, New York.