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Moral Life in Christ Chapter Fifteen
Transcript of Moral Life in Christ Chapter Fifteen
The desire for lifelong companionship and children is a natural one.
the purpose of marriage
Remember that you are made in the image and likeness of God.
But what is God?
Scripture reveals to us that God is Love personified.
It follows that one of the ways in which you can best "image," or represent God is when you show love.
The call to be a lover goes to the very core of your personal identity.
God's given you the ability to express your love as a soul-body union. This ability manifests itself in your specific gender.
in the beginning
The Bible gives us two complementary stories about the first human couple. We find their stories in the book of Genesis.
From these initial considerations, we can begin to see that marriage has a twofold purpose: namely, love (unitive) and life (procreative).
aspects of marriage
There are two, main aspects of marriage:
1. Exclusivity. Marriage calls for the total
gift of self. You can't totally give
yourself to more than one person.
2. Indissolubility. Marriage demands
stability. A temporary gift of self is
not total. It must be lifelong.
There are four, main dimensions or aspects to human sexuality. When any of these aspects are lacking, sexuality will be impoverished and immoral.
To be responsible parents, we must conform our sexual activity to God's intentions.
These stories teach us the following truths:
1. Spouses were created with equal dignity.
2. They are destined to form families.
3. The union of spouses is good for them.
4. Marriage has a procreative end.
dimensions of sexuality
what these stories teach
The dignity of the human person demands that he or she be created within the confines of a lifelong, loving marriage.
Jesus affirmed the original indissolubility of marriage in Mark 10:2-9.
It follows that either sexual union, or procreation outside of marriage is contrary to God's design.
If you think about conjugal love for even a moment, then you'll see that it is totally oriented toward these two ends. Sex unites people and produces children.
The Joys of Marriage
In its proper context, conjugal love is noble and honorable. It "images" the hidden life of God and therefore glorifies Him.
Jesus taught that marriage under the New Covenant lasts a lifetime. For this reason, there's no such thing as divorce in the Catholic Church.
however . . .
Some marriages aren't valid from the outset for various reasons. In these cases, the Church can investigate whether a valid marriage ever existed.
never a marriage
If the investigation reveals that the marriage was invalid, then the Church may grant an annulment, which says there was never a marriage to begin with.
what it isn't
An annulment is not a Catholic "divorce." Once decreed, the annulment grants the parties the freedom to marry in the Catholic Church.
The Sixth & Ninth Commandments
Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.
1 John 4:8
You shall not commit adultery.
God designed marriage to bring two people together, body and soul, for a lifetime.
God also designed marriage to create new life and perpetuate our species.
Song of Songs
Some people mistakenly think that the Church condemns sex, or sees it as something bad. This couldn't be further from the truth! In its proper context, sex is good and celebratory.
That's what the 19th-century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche thought.
The church fights passion with excision in every sense: its practice, its "cure," is castratism. It never asks: "How can one spiritualize, beautify, deify a craving?" It has at all times laid the stress of discipline on extirpation. But an attack on the roots of passion means an attack on the roots of life: the practice of the church is hostile to life.
Human sexuality isn't just instinctual. It involves the free and deliberate communication of affection.
Human sexuality primarily manifests itself through intercourse.
Sexuality reaches its fullest potential when heartfelt love and affection combine with sensual pleasure.
The total gift of self includes even one's capacity to create new life. So, sexuality must always be open to the creation of children.
The Catholic Church teaches three basic things about human sexuality.
Sex is a good thing created by God.
We must exercise self-control and discipline in the area of our sexuality.
Sex should only take place within marriage.
Chastity is the virtue that moderates the use of sexual faculties out of love for God. We must plan to live a life of chastity: it doesn't just happen. If you want to be chaste, try the following:
in the Eucharist &
Be completely honest in Reconciliation.
Avoid tempting situations.
Surround yourself with like-
adultery: having sex with someone other than your spouse.
fornication: sex between unmarried persons.
prostitution: engaging in sex for money.
homosexuality: sexual relations between members of the same gender.
masturbation: stimulation of one's own genitals.
Lust: entertaining impure sexual thoughts.
Sometimes, for serious reasons, parents may need to space births. Catholic couples can use Natural Family Planning to do so.
Natural Family Planning
NFP involves paying attention to a woman's fertility cycle, and abstaining from sex during periods when she is most fertile.
Incidentally, the divorce rate among couples who practice NFP is around 2%, compared to 50% of the rest of the population that uses artificial contraception.
As we saw when we looked at before, contraception divorces love from life, and is therefore morally wrong.
To covet is to sinfully desire another person in a sexual way. A person breaks this commandment by looking at or thinking about another person as a sexual object.
You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.
We have to control our thoughts so that they don't give rise to covetousness. This requires practicing self-denial. Fasting can help as well.
God designed marriage to satisfy you soul and body. By following the Church's teachings, you will find this satisfaction.
Read the Advanced Concepts on p 280 and complete the handout.
Please do the following questions on p 282:
4-5, 7-9, 14, 19-20
There are many different ways to sin against chastity. Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium mention some of the following.
People speak their own love "language:" they have ways in which they say they love others, and ways in which they feel loved. I want you to go to the Love Language website, take the test, and then answer the questions on the handout I provide.
Go to 5lovelanguages.com, pick "assessments," and take the test for "singles." Then, print your results and attach them to your handout.