knows, marriage is a contract, realised between a man and a
woman, through which each gives him/herself to the other for
always. And the ring which they receive on this occasion
manifests to the eyes of all, a profound reality: the couple
are linked together for life, they are indissolubly united.
Their union is permanent, it can be broken only by the death
of one of the two spouses.
It is necessary
today to have clear and exact ideas on this indissolubility,
to better live and to better defend the sanctity of marriage.
It is important
first to understand why this contract is permanent, whereas
so many others can be rescinded, then we will look at the fruits
of this lifelong commitment.
purposes can be held for the indissolubility of marriage:
all it is the explicit Will of the Creator, the Author
of human life, and of the contract which links two human lives
in view of procreation. Our Lord replied to the Pharisees:
"Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning,
made them male and female? And he said: For this cause shall
a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife,
and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are
not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together,
let no man put asunder." Mt. 19; 4-6
phrase signifies that the conjugal link is formed by the aid
of the human will and of the Divine Will. Which is to
say that, at the same time as the spouses contract marriage,
God ratifies this marriage, in such a way that to His eyes these
two people make only one flesh, one family. Consequently, no
human authority is able to break this contract which has been
confirmed and "signed" by the highest authority possible:
God. Pius XI recalls this law of indissolubility in his encyclical
"Casti Connubii". "The word of the Lord: What
God has joined together, no man may put asunder, has been said
of the marriage of our first parents, that is to say of the
prototype of every marriage to come.
way therefore, from the beginning in the mind of God, marriage
was to reproduce the indissoluble union of His Son with
human nature, a union which is permanent since Our Lord ascended
into Heaven with His human nature.
purpose concerns all men, since it is the Divine natural
law. That is why the marriage contracted between two infidels
is valid and indissoluble. Why has God wanted indissolubility
in marriage? To protect the children and their education, for
the perfection of the husband and wife, and equally for the
prosperity of the State through the stability of families.
second purpose for the indissolubility of marriage concerns
only Catholics. It is because of the Sacrament, which
raises this union of the husband and wife, by modeling it on
the union of Christ and the Church. Pius XI taught: "In
a Christian and consummated marriage, the matrimonial pact has
received its perfection (because of the Sacrament).
At the same time by the Will of God, the greatest stability
and the greatest indissolubility shines there and no human authority
can undermine it.
the union of Christ and the Church is indissoluble: Christ will
never found another Church, He will never abandon it; so the
union of a married couple must conform with the model, must
third purpose has something of the same nature as the human
heart which aspires after an absolute: the total and permanent
gift of oneself through love. It is a reflection of the eternal
relationship which exists between the Divine Persons to form
one single family. Moreover, the end of marriage being procreation,
the child requires for its harmonious and well-balanced development,
the stable and united presence of those who have given him life.
These last arguments are often better appreciated, because they
are at once evident.
see now the fruits of this lifelong commitment, in order
to better love these apparent chains, which, very far from strangling
the couple, protect them.
all, this permanent commitment requires each spouse to grow
in stature morally. In effect, there are necessarily in
the conjugal life some difficult periods, or times of misunderstanding,
of disappointment, indeed of opposition. The easy answer is
to seek elsewhere, in another spouse, for the joys and support
which are missing; it is to separate to settle in a life which
seems more peaceful and more independent. It is ultimately
giving in to one's caprices and self-will. Fleeing from difficulty,
is that virtue, is that growing in stature? No, it is demeaning!
Indissolubility requires, on the contrary, the practise of the
virtues of patience, forgiveness, self-sacrifice, hope and fortitude,
and so each trial which one must overcome - because one has
no choice, because one really must live a peaceful and agreeable
common life - requires each spouse to surpass him/herself, to
give a greater measure of virtue. And that, is growing in stature!
Even the thought of separation must not be considered
as a solution, otherwise you will have great difficulty in overcoming
trials and you may not even truly recover. Life becomes unbearable
if you permit yourself a way out, because then you exaggerate,
you magnify instead of looking for solutions. Separation is
an very great evil: it puts spouses into the dangers of incontinence,
it's a great calamity for the education of children, it abolishes
the means of sanctification of the common life, it is a form
of scandal for the family circle. In practice the Church has
always made every effort to prevent this extremity from occurring,
and apart from adultery, from grave dangers for the body or
the soul of the innocent spouse, it is necessary to have recourse
to the normal ordinance.
link is still the necessary condition for a good
education. Whether you like it or not, there is a profound
and irreplaceable bond between the father and his child, between
the mother and her child. The child needs both of them, living
together in harmony. And it's not because harmony between the
couple is not easy, that they must part. No. You must set
yourself this harmonious objective for the well-being of the
children and that's what constitutes indissolubility. Everyone
knows what "education" a child gets who is alternately
in his father's house then in his mother's, all the more so
since the parents are not able to exercise a complementary authority.
And then if someone is imposed on the child who has not given
birth to him, all the aspects of his personality will not be
able to blossom out, in particular the filial love which causes
him to accept that parents have the right to affection and to
chastise. That is why the child will say: "anyway, you
are not my mother". And besides the person who hasn't
begotten this child will never have a truly maternal or paternal
attitude, he will never be their child, they will not feel the
same responsibility, they will not have the same understanding
of the child. These last remarks apply very often to remarriages
or to a marriage in which there is the child of another.
of marriage is also a great good for society, because
this stability gives it well-balanced personalities. The emotional
imbalance which divorce causes expresses itself most of the
time by immorality and instability, two nuisance factors to
occupational activity. Without counting the loss of the sense
of authority, of duty.
add that divorce is lunacy, because it destroys that
which has taken so much time, and so much effort, to build:
family life. It was invested with all its attributes and all
for nothing: the passions are going to reduce it all to nothingness.
will raise an objection, however: but it is not unusual to note
that a second marriage is a better success than the first, because
one has more experience of life, one commits oneself with more
maturity. That is sometimes so, from the point of view of harmony
and complementary characters. But it is nevertheless true that
children are the innocent victims and, moreover, if marriage
was on a trial basis, the seriousness which one must bring to
the marriage and the prudence in the choice of spouse would
be ruined, and there would be less and less good marriages,
to the advantage of affairs.
must be particularly understood is that in life there are some
essential and fundamental values which come from God - and marriage
is one of them - for which one must be capable of sacrificing
one's own particular situation, to conserve the principle and
to transmit it in its purity and its integrity to future generations.
the one hand, to the willing determination, to the heartfelt
conviction, of never agreeing to this thought of divorce appearing
at the moment of adversity;
the other hand, to invest well in the family, to devote oneself
to it, not to be vulnerable to the opportunities which the world
suggests, to the passions which the world knows how to arouse.
If one does not live one's marriage in depth, one is weakened,
and the strength of the passions or the weight of adversities
can, one day, shatter this so holy institution.
John the Baptist, martyr of the indissolubility and sanctity
of marriage, help you.