Amoris Laetitia 74: Physical Union

amoris laetitia memeLet’s talk about sex … with Pope Leo the Great:

74. Sexual union, lovingly experienced and sanctified by the sacrament, is in turn a path of growth in the life of grace for the couple. It is the “nuptial mystery”.*

Consent is essential here. The presumption is that consent has taken place unless there is evidence otherwise.

The meaning and value of their physical union is expressed in the words of consent, in which they accepted and offered themselves each to the other, in order to share their lives completely. Those words give meaning to the sexual relationship and free it from ambiguity.

Moving forward from sex and consent, note the importance given by the Holy Father to sacramental grace. In other words, God’s power provides when ours falters, and expands our hearts when our own vision is limited:

More generally, the common life of husband and wife, the entire network of relations that they build with their children and the world around them, will be steeped in and strengthened by the grace of the sacrament. For the sacrament of marriage flows from the incarnation and the paschal mystery, whereby God showed the fullness of his love for humanity by becoming one with us. Neither of the spouses will be alone in facing whatever challenges may come their way. Both are called to respond to God’s gift with commitment, creativity, perseverance and daily effort. They can always invoke the assistance of the Holy Spirit who consecrated their union, so that his grace may be felt in every new situation that they encounter.

*Leo The Great, Epistula Rustico Narbonensi Episcopo, Inquis. IV: PL 54, 1205A; cf. hincmar of rheims, Epist. 22: PL 126, 142.

What do you make of the mention of creativity here? That quality gets a bad rap–unjustified–from many conservative Catholics. The older I get, the more essential I find that element. And not just because my wife and I are musicians.

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

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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