See the daily excerpt from the preparatory catechesis for the 2015 World Meeting of Families, “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.”
58. No mortal can satisfy all our longings. Real marital unity is based on God’s covenant, a covenant which welcomes erotic desire, but which even more fundamentally commits men and women to each other in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer. Christian marriage is not a romantic audition or a conditional arrangement “until further notice.” A so-called trial marriage, an attempt to live intimately but hypothetically, to test the relationship and pursue it as long as the romance is flowing, is a contradiction in terms. Pope Francis recently made this point in a public address:
But you both know that marriage is for life? “Ah, we love each other so much, but … we’ll stay together as long as the love lasts. When it ends, we’ll each go our separate way.” This is selfishness: When I feel like it, I’ll end the marriage and forget the “one flesh” that cannot be separated. It is risky to get married: it is risky! It is this egoism which threatens it, because we each have within us this possibility of a dual personality: The one that says, “I am free, I want this …” and the other which says, “I, me, to me, with me, for me….” Selfishness always returns and does not know how to open up to others.
In a postmodern world where trust is scarce, marriage seems daunting. We worry that we may be tied to someone wrong. In a globalized world, where economic anxiety is often well-founded, we may also worry that all of life’s challenges and questions, about financial or economic security, must be answered and put to rest before we can love as Jesus did.
In its introduction, the document says its aim is to present “Catholic teaching in a way that is fresh, insightful, and accessible to contemporary Catholics and all people of good will.” The catechesis “offers a narrative beginning with our creation, soberly noting our fall and the challenges we face, but emphasizing God’s plan for our salvation. Love is our mission, and it is by loving God and one another that we will be fully alive.”
Each day in CatholicPhilly.com’s World Meeting of Families section you can reflect on the official Catholic teaching on the family presented in the catechesis, pray a special prayer together as a family or individually, and stay on top of breaking news about the events coming Sept. 22-27, 2015.
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