Monday, November 23, 2009

USCCB - Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan

Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan is at once a refresher course, an inspired homily, a deeper exploration of marriage than you’ve ever seen in one place, and a call to turn away from false contemporary views in order to reinvigorate our culture through the vocation of marriage. It succeeds admirably on all counts. It should be required reading not only for marriage preparation but for all married couples, no matter how long their marriages have so far endured. -

Excerpt from the introduction:

"While marriage is a special blessing for Christians because of the grace of Christ, marriage is also a natural blessing and gift for everyone in all times and cultures. It is a source of blessing to the couple, to their families, and to society and includes the wondrous gift of co-creating human life. Indeed, as Pope John Paul II never tired of reminding us, the future of humanity depends on marriage and the family. It is just such a conviction that has led us, the Catholic bishops of the United States, to write this pastoral letter. "
1. Introduction: The Blessing and Gift of Marriage
2. I. What is Marriage
3. I. Male-Female Complementarity Is Essential to Marriage
4. I. The Two Ends or Purposes of Marriage: Unitive
5. I. The Two Ends or Purposes of Marriage: Procreative
6. I. How Are the Two Ends of Marriage Related?
7. I. Fundamental Challenges to the Nature and Purpose of Marriage: 1. Contraception
8. I. Fundamental Challenges: 2. Same-Sex Unions
9. I. Fundamental Challenges: 3. Divorce
10. I. Fundamental Challenges: 4. Living Together Without Marriage
11. II. Married Life Affected by Original Sin
12. II. Marriage Restored in Christ
13. II. Christian Marriage as a Sacrament
14. II. Marriage as a Reflection of the Life of the Trinity
15. II. The Family as Domestic Church
16. II. Marriage as a Vocation
17. II. Growth in Christian Marriage
18. II. Growth in Virtue (introductory section)
19. II. Growth in Virtue: Chastity
20. II. Growth in Virtue: Gratitude
21. II. Growth toward Perfection
22. II. Marriage and the Eucharist
23. II. Marriage Fulfilled in the Kingdom of God
Download full text here.

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