This post could be subtitled “Faithfulness in Love”–that is the theme taken up by Walter Kasper at the very end of Chapter One of the book whose cover you see imaged, right.
Remember, the first premise is that marriage is a human phenomenon, and this last theme suggests that human beings find freedom in the lifelong commitment of marriage. The opposite of freedom is the open stance that anything, and possibly everything can change in a person’s life. Perhaps this takes a bit of reflection in a culture that caters to whim, but the author makes a convincing case that permanent commitment, rather than locking people into a prison, permits great freedom to explore life and to express oneself in the context marriage provides.
Cardinal Kasper suggests this is where we find the grounding for sacramental marriage, and the rest of the book seeks to explore this.
In light of that linked post yesterday on a marriage to an angry man, it seems to me that even if the Church’s requirements for validity are in place, it is clear that such a marriage fails miserably on the human front. Instead of freedom to be fully alive and fruitful, the “angry husband” indulges in unfaithful affairs of the mind and body, subjecting his wife to fits of self-anger directed outward, and committing sacrilege against at least two other sacraments while living a double life and having no intent of reform or conversion.
One question that comes to mind: if a marriage is not human (in the fullest sense of God’s ideal) then how can it possibly be sacramental?