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Document Details :
Title: La vie conjugale ou l'apprentissage de la grâce
Author(s): CORNUDET, Hubert
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 4 Issue: 2 Date: Autumn 1998
Married life or the apprenticeship of Grace
There are three specific factors in married life which also have exemplary significance for our encounter with God: the institutional guideline, the keeping of faithand the role of the promise.
Despite the lurking danger of ossification it entails, the institutional structure can open up a special space for an encounter with God. In the tension between spirit and law Jesus’ saying about the Son of Man who is “Lord of the Sabbath” points the way forward. The importance of the law is not thereby called into question, there is a reference back here to God’s covenant with man, so that the law of love becomes a real “law”. The law is still needed as a factor of order and for protection against the varieties of human weakness, but ultimately everything is subordinated to the new commandment, which can thus operate across the range of different situations, times and cultures and touch each and everyone personally. Marriage too lives in this tension between legal principle and concrete application; it is a school of compassion.
Faithfulness has to do with the finitude of man. It is a reminder that man cannot do everything at once and that the other person always eludes our definitive grasp. The encounter with the marriage partner and the encounter with God both entail dealing with the risk and hope. Life is exciting because it is risky. This is the only way that love can be experienced as it is: unpredictable and unmerited gift.
Finally, like the joyful proclamation of the coming of God, married life is based on a promise of love and happiness. Both open up a future which may be grasped only in the here and now of concrete life with its joys and its sorrows.