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Document Details :
Title: Le mariage des Chrétiens
Subtitle: Une vocation, un témoignage
Author(s): PELLETIER, Anne-Marie
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 4 Issue: 2 Date: Autumn 1998
Christian marriage : vocation and testimony
How does the fact of being a Christian affect the way a person lives marriage? How does belonging to Christ mould the marriage relationship into a testimony? Christians were already asking these questions in the days when the Letter to Diognetus was written and today they are more pressing than ever. This article will look at them from two points of view. One aspect of Christian testimony relates to the truth of love imparted to us in the Bible. At a time when the fundamental anthropological constants have become uncertain and profoundly unstable, it is crucial to set alongside our modern knowledge the specific insights derived from study of the Word of God, revealing as it does the essence of human existence and the face of God. There are three particular areas in which Biblical anthropology can contribute to current debates. Firstly there is the “face-to-face” of man and woman, climax of the act of creation and at the same time wounded reality in our present world which is awaiting salvation. Secondly there is the fact that in Biblical tradition love is commandment, involving the commitment of the will. Thirdly, there is the way in which the trials of the time are to be faced in the light of the fact that the divine covenant is a long-enduring history rising above the changes and chances of life.
Over and above these fundamental truths of human existence the testimony of married Christians is founded in the Paschamysterium, the heart of all Christian life. “The spouses are the permanent reminder for the Church of what happened on the cross” writes John Paul II in Familiaris consortio. So marriage will neither be dramatised nor suspect. It simply involves loving as Christ loved, in complete devotion and trust that faith is the way of life and fulfilment and that when the time comes it faces the experiences of death, which permeate the life of the couple in different ways.
At the same time we are talking about a revelation of the face of God. Since he has created humans – man and woman – in his image, God has linked the revelation of his face to the fact that man and woman live together. Where their relationship is disfigured, access to the knowledge of God himself is compromised. On the other hand, where the marriage relationship is lived in accordance with the creation ordinance which calls it “good”, and in faith that in God every relationship, however damaged it may be, is healed and redeemed, something of God’s being is revealed in our world.