Summary: We may not judge the internal disposition of others, but we can judge the evil of what they want to do to society, especially against marriage.

March 9, 2009

Sacramentum Caritatis

How many times in recent years has this phrase of Jesus’s, “Judge not, lest ye be judged” been shoved into the faces of faithful Christians who are protesting the murder of the innocent, the perversion of the sacred union of husband and wife, or some other of God’s ordinances? I find it another serendipitous coincidence that these readings from God’s Word come to us as a gift just as we turn in Sacramentum Caritatis to Pope Benedict’s commentary on marriage.

Vatican Council II tells us, when facing abominations of nature like homosexual so-called “marriage” and abortion that we “must distinguish between the error, which must always be rejected, and the person in error, who never loses his dignity as a person even though he flounders amid false or inadequate religious ideas. God alone is the judge and the searcher of hearts; he forbids us to pass judgment on the inner guilt of others.” (Gaudium et Spes 28) But we can and must judge the evil of what they propose for themselves and for society, and we have an obligation to battle these evils to the last.

Pope Benedict calls us to a deeper understanding of the relationship between the sacrament of charity, the Eucharist, and the love of man and woman united in marriage. The Eucharist has a “nuptial character. . .it is the sacrament of the Bridegroom and of the Bride.” Moreover, “the entire Christian life bears the mark of the spousal love of Christ and the Church. . .Baptism. . .is. . .the nuptial bath which precedes the wedding feast, the Eucharist.”

The Eucharist strengthens the indissoluble unity and love of every Christian marriage. By the power of the Eucharist, the marriage bond is intrinsically linked to the eucharistic unity of Christ the Bridegroom and his Bride, the Church. The mutual consent that husband and wife exchange in Christ, which makes them a community of life and love, also has a eucharistic dimension.. Christ’s love for the Church is conjugal, to the extent of giving up his life for the Church on the cross. And, of course, the Eucharist is the re-presentation of that sacrifice and of that nuptial union. The Eucharist is for the union and growth of the Church, as marriage is for the human family.

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