Marriage is one of the seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church. A Sacrament is an outward and visible sign of inward grace from God, or more specifically, a sacred and mysterious sign, ordained by Christ, by which grace is conveyed to your souls. Marriage, then, is an outward sign which reveals the Lord Jesus to you, and through which, His Divine Life and Love are communicated through grace.
The internal grace conveyed to your souls through your “yes” to receiving the Sacrament is the ongoing and continual divine help from Christ that is necessary to live out the Sacrament of Marriage – the help needed to love freely, totally, faithfully and fruitfully, day in and day out for the rest of your lives. When couples receive the grace of the Sacrament of Marriage, “Christ dwells with them, gives them the strength to take up their crosses and so follow him, to rise again after they have fallen, to forgive one another, to bear one another’s burdens, to ‘be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ,’ and to love one another with supernatural, tender, and fruitful love.”
Distinct from the other sacraments, the Sacrament of Marriage and the Sacrament of Holy Orders are directed toward the salvation of others. “If they contribute as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so.” In other words, the ultimate goal of the Sacrament of Marriage is to help your spouse (and any children) get to heaven. What an awesome responsibility. What an awesome gift.
For Further Reflection
- “Love is Our Mission”, a video study
- “Marital Love: Noun or Verb?”, a short video by Bart and Barbara Workman
- “Hope and Pandora’s Box“, a short video by Kevin and Shannon Miles