The Indissolubility of Marriage and the Joy of Sharing Life Together
54. (21) Mutual self-giving in the Sacrament of Marriage is grounded in the grace of Baptism, which establishes the foundational covenant of every person with Christ in the Church. In accepting each other and with Christ’s grace, the engaged couple promises a total self-giving, faithfulness and openness to new life. The married couple recognizes these elements as constitutive in marriage, gifts offered to them by God, taking seriously their mutual commitment, in God’s name and in the presence of the Church. So, in faith it is possible to assume the goods of marriage as commitments which are more sustainable through the help of the grace of the Sacrament. God consecrates the love of husband and wife and confirms its indissolubility, offering them assistance to live their faithfulness, mutual complementarity and openness to life. Therefore, the Church looks to married couples as the heart of the entire family, which, in turn, looks to Jesus.
55. Joy is an expression of the full realization of a person. To manifest the unique joy of the union of husband and wife and the formation of a new family calls for presenting the family as a place of personal and gratuitous relations, unlike those in society. The voluntary and reciprocal self-giving, the life which is born and the care of one member for the other, from the youngest to the oldest, are just some of the aspects which make the family unique in its beauty. It is important to develop the idea that marriage is a life-long choice which does not limit one’s existence, but instead makes it richer and fuller, even in times of difficulty.
Through this choice in life, the family builds society not as simply the numerical sum of the residents of a particular territory or as a group of citizens of a given State, but as a genuine experience of a people united in spirit and, in the case of the Church, the People of God.