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Title: 'Scelta di vita'
Subtitle: Una prospettiva di lettura teologico-morale della realtà del matrimonio
Author(s): RUDELLI, Paolo
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 8    Issue: 2   Date: Autumn 2002   
Pages: 227-239
DOI: 10.2143/INT.8.2.2004438

Abstract :

"Life Choice": A Perspective from Moral Theology on the Reality of Marriage

This contribution proposes a possibility for understanding the reality of marriage that begins from the application of the concept of "life choice" developed within the sphere of fundamental moral theology. First, the philosophical foundations of the concept are given. Such a basis resides in reflecting on the relationship between free acts and subjectivity in light of the transcendental method. The relationship to transcendental meaning is the ontological condition of possibility for self-giving in free acts. Such a relationship, however, is always brought about within the horizon of a subjective life history. The choices that shape this irreversible personal history are thus the natural means of self-expression and the confession of meaning recognized in one's own freedom endowed with a constitutive biographical dimension. These "life choices" cannot be deduced a priori. Freedom is only irrevocably determined in the choice of a concrete good, in the recognition, in an anticipatory and promising form, of transcendental meaning in this good. Upon this theoretical foundation this article attempts to analyze freedom's particular disposition within the unfolding of a love story. The first step highlighted is how freedom finds itself acting within conditions it cannot surmount. Then, the structural elements of freedom's disposition in the matrimonial form of the relationship are described in order to show how the presence of such elements represents the condition of possibility for recognizing and remaining aware of freedom as good for the continuation of the relationship. The matrimonial form is thus discovered to be present already in the beginnings of the relationship when the ethical orientation begins to be formed. Diachronically speaking, the irrevocable commitment celebrated in marriage appears as the only response adequate to the good made manifest in the person of the other and the condition of how such good can be fully revealed. The entire history of the relationship thus appears as a life choice marked first by the discovery of a promise of good present in the other, then as a declaration of oneself in favor of this good through an irrevocable attachment, and finally, in the fidelity that follows from that promise. The disposition of freedom in the matrimonial form of a relationship will appear in surprising harmony with the form assumed by the human freedom of Christ, revealing marriage both as an authentically ecclesial vocation as well as a unique manifestation of the Savior's grace.

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