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Document Details :
Title: Loving Chastely
Subtitle: Proposing the Church's Teachings on Sexual Morality to Young Couples Preparing for Marriage
Author(s): GALEA, Christine
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 20 Issue: 2 Date: 2014
The period of preparation for Christian marriage constitutes a providential and favorable moment in which the young couple discern their vocation to marriage and family life. During this time, they are invited to understand the full meaning of marriage and family as a community of life and love. It is also a time for them to discern whether they are genuinely disposed to the holiness and obligations of their new state. The importance of education in human sexuality within the context of this formation cannot be over-rated. This teaching should build upon the prudent and gradual formation which may have been offered to the young couple during their childhood and adolescent years, with the difference that particular emphasis should now be placed upon marital love. For this reason, in order to appeal to today’s contemporary society, the Church is required not only to draw upon its rich body of teachings on this topic, but to present such traditions in a way that will serve to increase significantly the acceptance of a Christian viewpoint on sexual morality. Stress is to be placed upon sexuality as encompassing the entire human person, with its intrinsic end as being authentic love – as a gift – given and received. In this light, marital love calls for the practice of the virtue of chastity, which renders the human person mature, balanced and capable of respecting oneself and one’s spouse as an equal. Besides, chaste love leads the couple to love for God, in such a way that in the context of sacramental marriage, the sexual activity of the couple becomes integrated into a path to holiness, through a bond reinforced by the indissoluble unity of the sacrament.