Wednesday, July 12, 2017

MARRIAGE: THE SUMMIT OF LOVE


That  “Love is the queen of virtues” is the most commonly felt, experienced, and lived in a man-woman relationship.  It begins with a meeting or an encounter.  This is followed by acquaintance, in terms of mutual personal knowledge.  This is succeeded by courtship or the profession of love.  This in turn, develops into an engagement or exclusivity of amorous relationship.  This is ultimately crowned by marriage whereby the man and the woman give, commit and entrust one to the other.

Marriage is wherefore defined , explained and affirmed:  Marriage is a Covenant through which a man and a woman establish between themselves, a partnership of their whole life which by its very nature is ordained for the well-being of the spouses, the procreation and upbringing of children.  (Cf.  Canon 1055 par. I CIC).  Furthermore, the essential properties of marriage are unity and indissolubility.  (Cf.  Canon 1056 CIC)

In a Catholic marriage, the standard symbolic articles, used to signify the nature, attribution and finalities of the Covenant of Love, are the following – after the exchange of matrimonial consent between a man and a woman:

a.  Rings:
The man and the woman give a ring to one another as a symbol of their respective self-giving to one another.

b.  Arrhae:
The man then gives the arrhae/tokens to the woman as a symbol of his commitment to support her, and the woman accepts the man’s commitment.

c.  Veil:
The veil is thereafter placed on the man and the woman as a symbol that together they will sleep in one bed, eat from one table, live under one roof.

d.  Cord:
The cord is subsequently placed on the man and the woman as a symbol of their carrying together the burdens of married life together.

e.  Candles:   
The man and the woman finally light a candle as a symbol that their married life has formally began.

It is in the Catholic marriage that the following special triads – all in the context and spirit of love between a man and a woman – become precious and admirable living realities:

1stLove and courtship.  2nd.  Love and engagement.  3rd.  Love and marriage.
1st.  Unity of love.  2nd.  Community of love.  3rd.  Communion of love.
1st.  Spousal love.  2nd.  Conjugal love.  3rd.  Parental love.  


So it is that success in marriage is an ecstasy while failure therein is misery.