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Little Lesson on the Sacrament of Marriage Part I

Marriage and Christ as the Bridegroom

The current marriage statistics in North America suggested that over half of today's marriages will fail and end in divorce.  This is a sad and frightening statistic.  As Catholics we recognize marriage as a sacrament - an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.   We also know that once we receive the Sacrament of Marriage we are bound to our spouses until parted by death. 

The Catholic Church believes that the Sacrament of Marriage cannot be dissolved; this goes back to the Council of Trent.  In certain and grave instances one could possibly be eligible for an annulment, but it is a very specific, detailed and time consuming process which is in total contrast to a simple civil divorce which many people use as a way out.  In our Lord's eyes and the eyes of the Church we are still married even if we decide to simply obtain a civil divorce.  If we further decide to take another partner out of wedlock or civilly remarry, we are committing a grave mortal sin.  So how can we prevent this tragedy from needing to occur?  Very simply put, learn what marriage REALLY is.  It really is an amazingly awesome gift from God.

Having recently taken an intense course on the Theology of the Body (TOB),  I along with other parishioners and our pastor, listened to a wonderful passionate lessons on what it means to be married.  It was phenomenal and delivered by Fr. Alan Boisclair whose assigned mission it is to bring the knowledge, truth and understanding of the TOB to parishes and priests in North America.  Pope John Paul II was way ahead of his time when he began giving his Wednesday addresses teaching humanity about the sacred union of marriage through the TOB.  And believe me, if we all knew what marriage was intended to be for us by God, we would teach our children to discern and choose partners more carefully and look to marriage as something to be cherished and celebrated for really we are actually entering into a marriage of male, female and the Creator.

Today I share a wonderful little lesson that Shell of  Thinking Love, No Twaddle blog has written about the sacrament of marriage.  This is part one of her lesson which she hopes to continue over the summer.  I think it is very well done and helps introduce young people to this wonderful sacrament in a knowledgeable and reverent light looking to scripture as a base.  Last month she focused on the sacrament of the priesthood or Holy Orders and this month she gives us the alternative to the call to religious life.  This lesson entitled, Marriage and Christ the Bridegroom is twelves pages long and includes the lesson text, images, a Bible bit, notebooking pages and some great thoughts and prompts for discussion including:
Who was the first bridegroom and priest?
Who is the second Adam and how was He a bridegroom and priest?
What is the difference between a Covenant and a contract?
In what way does Israel "divorce" God?

Expect that you will learn a bit of history of the sacrament and having your Bible handy will enhance your understanding of some key truths of our faith, which sadly go unacknowledged  by many.  This lesson is first in what Shell hopes to be a series of at least three parts including a lesson on Hosea and Jesus' Words in the Gospel of Matthew and another lesson covering the purpose of marriage.

Click Here to download the Little Lesson Marriage and Christ as the Bridegroom

As a side note:  If you are not familiar with the TOB let me recommend a few resources for you.  These should be on every homeschooling family's bookshelf and they will help you immensely in understanding God's plan for our lives in the union of marriage and familyhood.

Let me preface that in Man and Woman He Created Them, the first part of the book explains how the book got to be as it was translated and organized.  Start reading the text portion and don't worry about the front portion as it is very difficult reading.  Simply take each morsel paragraph by paragraph and you will see the truth of our Lord unfold before your eyes. 

This is not an easy read, but it is so worthwhile and will help you with the children in those most important teen years when questions arise about vocations, dating, sex, marriage and procreation.  As they begin to think about dating we want them to embrace the idea of chastity; as they think of career we want them also to consider religious life; as they think about love we want them to unite it to God; when they talk about marriage we want them to think about the fruits of their love.  This book will equip you to help with these tasks.  You can also read these from the EWTN archives here.

Love and ResponsibilityLove and Responsibility by Pope John Paul II 

This is a literary gem that will really help parents prepare for leading their children into adulthood.  Young adults will find this book helpful as well and it too was recommended in our TOB course.  It is a good sized read that will engage readers as only Pope John Paul the Great could. He covers everything from chastity, love, ethics, shame, continence, marriage, paternity, maternity, and so much more.

I hope you find these books very helpful in parenting and preparing your children for life.  They would also be great as background reading to accompany Shell's series of lessons on the sacrament of marriage.


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