The Spiritual Power Of Marriage Can Bring Hope To The World

by August, Marriage, World's View

I have the great blessing of having three adopted siblings. After having six biological children, my parents decided to adopt three more. They are incredibly generous people, and I think are perhaps strongly against the idea of spending any time at all in purgatory, choosing instead to get all that penance out now. I know I did my share in contributing to their growth in patience at the very least. My parents introduced my siblings to the faith and encouraged them to receive it as their own. Praise be to God; they did. But along the way I had a shocking, and frankly terrifying, realization about all that marriage is designed to be.

If you are married or have prayerfully considered marriage, you probably understand its basic principles. Marriage is a sacrament, originating from a Divine source and not invented by society or any individual. It is indissoluble, meaning that if you are married, you are committed until death separates you. It also includes a specific call to be open to fertility, embracing the procreation and education of children. These are the foundational aspects of marriage, and although they deserve focus and attention, we sometimes forget why it is crucial to fully live out the institution of marriage.

 “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.”

#1601 Catechsim of the Catholic Church

The Spiritual Dimension Of Marriage

Certainly, there are practical and material benefits to living marriage as the Catholic Church teaches. However, I want to focus on marriage’s spiritual dimension. Marriage is meant to mirror the love of the Trinity and of Christ and the Church. Your marriage is a sign of hope to the world. The presence of God in the sacrament is a witness to higher perfection and love than individuals can achieve. The fidelity and permanence of marriage reveal God’s faithfulness to His Church and its members. Openness to life witnesses God’s goodness and, most importantly, the virtue of Hope.

This spiritual reality struck me profoundly during one of the first Masses I attended with my new siblings. After reciting the Our Father, I was moved by the fact that my adopted siblings had not experienced the love of a father during their upbringing. On the contrary, it was quite the opposite. With a pit in my stomach, I wondered what thoughts must have been racing through their minds as we prayed the Our Father. What image of God formed in their minds when they heard Him referred to as “Father”? I couldn’t, and still can’t, imagine it. The spiritual aspect of marriage suddenly became more than an abstract concept; it was right in front of me as my siblings learned about the God who loves them. One doesn’t need to search hard or far to find many others who have had similar experiences.

Healing and hope are desperately needed. Marriage stands as a beacon, broadcasting the resounding message that healing is tangible and hope is a steadfast pursuit. Each day of your marriage, in spite of the imperfections of your spouse, you radiate a brilliant light, refuting the lie that love must be earned. Every fight and reconciliation reveals God’s love for us in our brokenness, His willingness to welcome us back, and His faithfulness. Some people hesitate to have children due to the world’s brokenness, pain, and hate. By remaining open to life, you live the hope that God’s grace and salvation can overcome darkness. Despair does not have the final word. When the world observes you and your family, When people observe you and your family, they ask in amazement, “How do you do it?” Through your lives, you bear witness to the extraordinary power of divine grace, enabling us to live in a manner that surpasses the confines of mere human effort and relies on the power of the Trinity.

Your marriage is a gospel, good news wrapped in the greater Gospel of Christ and our salvation. Those who may never read a Bible will read the gospel of your marriage. Our culture, surrounded by bitterness, anger, confusion, and pain, needs this good news. The world needs inspiring examples of Christ’s love imaged in the human family. Through the living witness of marriages rooted in Christ’s love, we will shine forth a gospel of love that transcends all barriers.

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