marriageMarriage is more than just a living arrangement, a contract, or even a private decision by two individuals to stay together. It can be a source of great comfort and companionship, but the vocation of Catholic marriage is not really about a solution to loneliness.

Marriage is a vocation, a calling from God. It is meant to build up the spouses into the saints they are called to be, and it changes who the man and woman are in the core of their being. It is also meant to be life-giving, the source of new children and a new family which serves as a foundation for society.

Catholic teaching is clear that men and women are equal. At the same time, they express two different ways of being human. The man and woman work together in marriage to express this complementarity and to love their spouse for the child of God that they are.

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Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan

Marriage is a natural institution established by God the Creator. It is a permanent, faithful, fruitful partnership between one man and one woman, established by their free mutual consent. It has two purposes: the good of the spouses, called the unitive purpose, and the procreation and education of children.

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Marriage expresses the universal call to holiness that all people share. They are called to give of themselves, to put their spouse first, and to bring their husband or wife closer to Christ over the course of their lives. As they learn to do this, they also grow in their own relationship to Christ. When a husband or wife views their marriage as a vocation, it shifts the focus off of themselves (“Is marriage making ME happy?”, Is she being a good wife to ME?”, “Will marrying this person make ME happy?” etc.) and onto the person they have vowed to give themselves to.

From Church Documents

“Thus the Christian family, which springs from marriage as a reflection of the loving covenant uniting Christ with the Church, and as a participation in that covenant, will manifest to all men Christ’s living presence in the world, and the genuine nature of the Church.” Gaudium et spes, 48 
“The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator.” CCC 1603

[fontawesome icon=”external-link” circle=”yes” size=”small”] Diocese of Lexington Office of Marriage and Family

[fontawesome icon=”external-link” circle=”yes” size=”small”] ForYourMarriage.org (from USCCB)


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