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Title: What's so Spiritual about Marriage?
Author(s): THOMAS, David M.
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 13    Issue: 1   Date: 2007   
Pages: 53-63
DOI: 10.2143/INT.13.1.2021300

Abstract :
Through research and conversation the author has concluded that most couples identify their marriage as spiritual. But when asked what’s spiritual about it, they tend to narrow their focus to only small parts of their marriage. For instance, they speak of God’s presence at the birth of their children, when they participate in the sacramental rituals of the Church or perhaps when they pray together. While these marital moments are certainly sacred, what many miss is the all-encompassing spiritual potential of all their shared marital life. Traditional spirituality and theology point to God’s presence in everything. We speak of the divine indwelling within us, the presence of God wherever love exists and the God who is present in all acts of kindness, generosity and service, as is described toward the end of Matthew’s gospel. In that sense, all of marriage can be viewed as sacramental, filling their shared life with Godness and goodness. Marital spirituality flows from their shared life. Recalling the words of Vatican II can be helpful in this regard, where married couples are called “to follow their own proper path to holiness.” So their particular spiritual path passes through and exists within their marital experience. God’s word is made flesh in their acts of love that are expressed in the spirit/ffesh union that constitutes the heart of marital love. Gaining awareness of this can be helped by focusing attention and deepening consciousness of each other. Being more fully present is a form of spiritual discipline quite helpful in marriage. Noticing each other's uniqueness and beauty, serving each other’s existential needs are essential parts of marital spirituality. Therefore, marital spirituality is rooted in the day-to-day, in the countless acts of mutual affirmation and acceptance, in days of difficulty and in days of joy. In a word, everything that is loving and life-giving that flows between the wife and husband contributes to the content of their spirituality. It may seem quite ordinary on the surface, but in reality, it is charged with God’s grace and a meaningful symbol of God’s abiding love.

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