"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens." - Ephesians 1:3
Marriage: a gift bestowed by the Creator
"Among the many blessings that God has showered upon us in Christ is the blessing of marriage, a gift bestowed by the Creator from the creation of the human race. His hand has inscribed the vocation to marriage in the very nature of man and woman (see Gn 1:27-28, 2:21- 24).
It is a source of blessing to the couple, to their families, and to society and includes the wondrous gift of co-creating human life.
Indeed, as Pope John Paul II never tired of reminding us, the future of humanity depends on marriage and the family."
As Catholics, we understand the sacraments make Christ present in our midst. Like the other sacraments, marriage is not just for the good of individuals, or the couple, but for the community as a whole. The Catholic Church teaches that marriage between two baptized persons is a sacrament. The Old Testament prophets saw the marriage of a man and woman as a symbol of the covenant relationship between God and his people.
The permanent and exclusive union between husband and wife mirrors the mutual commitment between God and his people. The Letter to the Ephesians says that this union is a symbol of the relationship between Christ and the Church.
In 2005, The US Conference of Catholic Bishops launched the National Pastoral Initiative for Marriage to call attention to the meaning and value of married life for the Church and for society. The crowning achievement of the Initiative was the Bishops' 2009 pastoral letter, Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan. The letter presents the essential points of Catholic teaching on marriage as a natural gift, as a sacrament, and as a public commitment between a man and a woman. It also discusses several contemporary challenges to marriage and how the Church addresses those challenges.
Prayer in Defense of Marriage
The love of husband and wife enriches your Church with children,
fills the world with a multitude of spiritual fruitfulness and service,
and is the sign of the love of your Son, Jesus Christ, for his Church.
The grace of Jesus flowed forth at Cana at the
request of the Blessed Mother. May your Son,
through the intercession of Mary, pour out upon us
a new measure of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
as we join with all people of good will
to promote and protect the unique beauty of marriage.
May your Holy Spirit enlighten our society
to treasure the heroic love of husband and wife,
and guide our leaders to sustain and protect
the singular place of mothers and fathers
in the lives of their children.
Father, we ask that our prayers
be joined to those of the Virgin Mary,
that your Word may transform our service
so as to safeguard the incomparable splendor of marriage.
We ask all these things through Christ our Lord,
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.