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Humanae Vitae: Day 9

Married Love

9. In the light of these facts the characteristic features and exigencies of married love are clearly indicated, and it is of the highest importance to evaluate them exactly.

This love is above all fully human, a compound of sense and spirit. It is not, then, merely a question of natural instinct or emotional drive. It is also, and above all, an act of the free will, whose trust is such that it is meant not only to survive the joys and sorrows of daily life, but also to grow, so that husband and wife become in a way one heart and one soul, and together attain their human fulfillment.

It is a love which is total—that very special form of personal friendship in which husband and wife generously share everything, allowing no unreasonable exceptions and not thinking solely of their own convenience. Whoever really loves his partner loves not only for what he receives, but loves that partner for the partner’s own sake, content to be able to enrich the other with the gift of himself.

Married love is also faithful and exclusive of all other, and this until death. This is how husband and wife understood it on the day on which, fully aware of what they were doing, they freely vowed themselves to one another in marriage. Though this fidelity of husband and wife sometimes presents difficulties, no one has the right to assert that it is impossible; it is, on the contrary, always honorable and meritorious. The example of countless married couples proves not only that fidelity is in accord with the nature of marriage, but also that it is the source of profound and enduring happiness.

Finally, this love is fecund. It is not confined wholly to the loving interchange of husband and wife; it also contrives to go beyond this to bring new life into being. “Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the procreation and education of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in the highest degree to their parents’ welfare.” (Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, n. 50)

Married love is human, total, faithful and exclusive, and fecund.

Human: Married love is for the good of the whole person and it involves the complete giving of one’s self to another. Love is not merely emotional; it involves the whole self.

Total: Married love is the complete giving of one’s self.  When a couple contracepts, at least one party is holding something back.  A barrier is placed between spouses

Faithful and exclusive: “fidelity is in accord with the nature of marriage…it is the source of profound and enduring happiness.”

Fecund: Marriage is ordered by its nature toward procreation and education of children.  The vocation of husband and wife is to cooperate with God in bringing new life into the world and to help that new life to know God his Creator.

Many forces in the world today want to redefine marriage.  But marriage is not ours to redefine.  God instituted marriage and is Himself the image of married love.  Its nature is to be human, total, faithful and exclusive, and fecund.  To try to make marriage anything other than what it truly is to destroy marriage itself, and when marriage is destoryed so is humanity.

Contraception is not human, it turns married love into something that is not total and therefore not faithful according to the vows that they made to each other, and it renders married love barren.

 (Posted with permission from Fr. Lee Acervo at http://fatheracervo.wordpress.com)

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