Amoris Laetitia 214: Making and Keeping Promises

amoris laetitia memeA married person offers and receives consent from a spouse. With respect to the Orthodox view of this sacrament, I think the Western take is well-considered. The Church witnesses such a promise on the wedding day. But a free and faithful person gives and accepts marital consent not just on one day, but for a lifetime.

Rather than this being a prison of some sort, a “ball-and-chain,” it is good to view this as a freeing experience, allowing a person to fully flower as a lover and a beloved. A person engaged by such a promise as marital consent need not look over her or his shoulder and wonder.

214. At times, the couple does not grasp the theological and spiritual import of the words of consent, which illuminate the meaning of all the signs that follow. It needs to be stressed that these words cannot be reduced to the present; they involve a totality that includes the future: “until death do us part”. The content of the words of consent makes it clear that “freedom and fidelity are not opposed to one another; rather, they are mutually supportive, both in interpersonal and social relationships. Indeed, let us consider the damage caused, in our culture of global communication, by the escalation of unkept promises. Honoring one’s word, fidelity to one’s promises: these are things that cannot be bought and sold. They cannot be compelled by force or maintained without sacrifice”.(Catechesis (21 October 2015))

For your reference 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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