Amoris Laetitia 67: The Family in the Documents of the Church

amoris laetitia memeParagraphs 67 through 70 review what we say about the family in Church documents. Let’s begin with Vatican II, as cited by the synod bishops:

67. The Second Vatican Council, in its Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, was concerned “to promote the dignity of marriage and the family (cf. Nos. 47-52)”. The Constitution “defined marriage as a community of life and love (cf. 48), placing love at the center of the family… ‘True love between husband and wife’ (49) involves mutual self-giving, includes and integrates the sexual and affective dimensions, in accordance with God’s plan (cf. 48-49)”. The conciliar document also emphasizes “the grounding of the spouses in Christ. Christ the Lord ‘makes himself present to the Christian spouses in the sacrament of marriage’ (48) and remains with them. In the incarnation, he assumes human love, purifies it and brings it to fulfilment. By his Spirit, he gives spouses the capacity to live that love, permeating every part of their lives of faith, hope and charity. In this way, the spouses are consecrated and by means of a special grace build up the Body of Christ and form a domestic church (cf. Lumen Gentium, 11), so that the Church, in order fully to understand her mystery, looks to the Christian family, which manifests her in a real way”.(Relatio Synodi 2014, 17)

I know we covered this here ten years ago, but today’s takeaway for me is the definition of marriage as a community. What does that mean? A decade ago, I was struck by the sense of “consecration” given to the spouses of a marriage. Pope Francis also mentions this in connection to the establishment of a domestic church from Lumen Gentium. Comments from any of you readers?

For your reference, remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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