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God loves us with a definitive and irrevocable love…married couples share in this love…it supports and sustains them, and…by their own faithfulness they can be witnesses to God’s faithful love. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1648

The faithful love of husband and wife in marriage is a witness to God’s faithful love to His people. You cannot find a more noble task. Or a more impossible one! We are wounded and broken people. We cannot live this kind of love on our own. But God has not left us alone. In the Sacrament of Matrimony, we get grace to love as Christ loved: freely, totally, faithfully, and fruitfully.

The love of the spouses requires, of its very nature, the unity and indissolubility of the spouses’ community of persons, which embraces their entire life: “so they are no longer two, but one flesh” (Mt 19:6). They “are called to grow continually in their communion through day-to-day fidelity to their marriage promise of total mutual self-giving” (Familiaris Consortio, 19). This human communion is confirmed, purified, and completed by communion in Jesus Christ, given through the sacrament of Matrimony. It is deepened by lives of the common faith and by the Eucharist received together. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1644

This begs the questions, “What is grace?” and “How do we get it?” The Catechism of the Catholic Church says “Grace is a participation in the life of God” (CCC, 1997). We receive grace through the Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Eucharist, and especially in Marriage. Grace is unmerited favor, power, “spiritual steroids.” In order for grace to work in our lives, we need to have faith. As an illustration, consider grace as the electrical power grid. In order for us to be able to use that power to light our homes, we need to plug into the outlet (the sacraments) and then flip the switch, an act of faith. We can leave the switch off and fumble around on our own in the dark, or we can flip the switch on and receive all the power to live our lives as beacons of Christ’s light to our families, friends, and neighbors.[1]

We love, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

To receive this grace, we need to humbly submit our lives, every aspect, to the will of God. We do this through obedience to the commandments, daily prayer and Scripture reading, and frequent partaking in the Sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation. God pours grace upon us. In order to receive it we need to be free of mortal sin. That is why it is so important to frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a month so that our hearts are in the proper disposition to receive this grace.

The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life (cf. Council of Trent: DS 1799). Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1661

Find time each day to be quiet with God, contemplating His bountiful love and mercy. He is waiting and longing to spend time with you. During your courtship, you spent time getting to know each other. To become more like Jesus, you need to spend intimate time with Him, getting to know Him. In doing so, your life and marriage will more and more become the image of God’s faithful love.

And from his fulness have we all received, grace upon grace. John 1:16

[1] Fr. John Riccardo, Marriage Through the Lens of Scripture, video series produced by Calling Couple to Christ, © 2019.