Monday, January 9, 2017

Amoris Laetitia - Par. 162

162.  Celibacy can risk becoming a comfortable single life that provides the freedom to be independent, to move from one residence, work or option to another, to spend money as one sees fit and to spend time with others as one wants.  In such cases, the witness of married people becomes especially eloquent.  Those called to virginity can encounter in some marriages a clear sign of God's generous and steadfast fidelity to his covenant, and this can move them to a more concrete and generous availability to others.  Many married couples remain faithful when one of them has become physically unattractive, or fails to satisfy the other's needs, despite of the voices in our society that might encourage them to be unfaithful or to leave the other.  A wife can care for her sick husband and thus, in drawing near to the Cross, renew her commitment to love unto death.  In such love, the dignity of the true lover shines forth, inasmuch as it is more proper to charity to love than to be loved.172  We could also point to the presence in many families of a capacity for selfless and loving service when children prove troublesome and even ungrateful.  This makes those parents a sign of the free and selfless love of Jesus.  Cases like these encourage celibate persons to live their commitment to the Kingdom with greater generosity and openness.  Today, secularization has obscured the value of a life-long union and the beauty of the vocation to marriage.  For this reason, it is "necessary to deepen an understanding of the positive aspects of conjugal love".173

172 Cf. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, II-II, q. 27, art.1.
173 Pontificial Council for the Family, Family, Marriage and "De Facto" Unions (26 July 2000), 40.


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