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Sacred scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a vision of the “wedding feast of the Lamb.” Scripture speaks throughout about marriage and its “mystery”, its institution and the meaning God has given it. (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1602)

What is Marriage?

The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is the promise (or covenant) made between a man and a woman for the whole of their life. It is directed toward the good of the couple and the procreation and education of their children. As a sign of God’s love for us, it has been raised by Christ to become a sacrament – a physical sign of a spiritual reality.

Like God’s love, marriage is a full and unreserved gift, freely given, faithfully lived, and open to the fruitfulness of new life. Because the bond of marriage is an image of God’s love, a love which is never ending, it is a bond that cannot be broken.

In Jesus Christ, the God who is love has become one of us. From his example we learn how to live married love. On the cross he showed us that love seeks to give even when it hurts. Love demands self-sacrifice.

Christian marriage is not an easy way of life, but rather it is a long path toward sanctification.  Married couples who have reached old age together will testify that the moments of delight are never won without some pain and self sacrifice. But in the same way that Jesus Christ showed us that love demonstrated in faithful perseverance and self-sacrifice brought him glory, it is the love won through patiently giving ourselves to our spouse and family that we find life’s greatest reward.

In a radically counter-cultural proclamation, faithful Christian marriage announces the truth, beauty and goodness of authentic love. Amid a generation that places “me” first, married love announces the great paradox - that whoever is prepared to lose their life out of love of another is the one who finds it (Mat 16:25).


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