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Nature of marriage

Views and Points
Abp. Oscar V. Cruz


Oscar V. Cruz, DDWho does not know what is marriage? The mere fact alone that one has a father and a mother is usually because of their marriage. So is it that the reality of families is readily associated with marriage. In fact, it can even be said that practically everybody is an expert on marriage–what it is, what is it for, what it entails and the like. It can also be said that practically anyone sees himself or herself as an able marriage counselor, an expert marriage adviser.

It is therefore understandable that there are always those who question the relevance of still analyzing and explaining marriage–still writing about marriage. It becomes even perplexing if not worst when those who are precisely celibate–like priests and nuns who are single by profession and consequent obligation–are the ones who dare talk about and explain what marriage is, what it is for, what it entails and the like. Yes, they may know what they are dealing with, talking about. But personally live it, experience it first hand–these they do not.

But then, one’s long experience plus actual handling of Marriage Ministry, Marriage Counseling, Marriage Cases and the like cannot but help in addressing the latter’s compound and complex reality which is so common yet so unique, so pleasing and endearing to look forward to but also so demanding and tedious to actually live in–although also truly self-satisfying and very rewarding when duly and accordingly lived by. It is said that victory is sweeter when the battle is harder. Exactly the same is true in every case of a successful marriage union–with all its trials and challenges, its pain and difficulties.

Although it is rather common sight in the Catholic Church as well as in certain Christian Churches, it is good to note that only about one child is baptized, confirmed and given the First Communion. More. Only one individual goes to confession, receives the Sacred Orders and finally gets the Anointing of the Sick. But it takes two–a man and a woman–to get married. And this is but the start of the story, so to speak. There is much more in marriage–with its spousal, conjugal plus parental features–that usually remain unnoticed and wherefore usually remain unspoken as well.

The fact is that it is from the said two individuals–united in marriage pursuant to Catholic Faith and Morals–that children are born, are baptized, are given Holy Communion, go to Confession, undergo confirmation, receive the Sacred Orders or make the Religious Profession, get married themselves until they finally get the Anointing of the Sick. This phenomenon is not only interesting but also intriguing to take due notice of. These facts alone amply demonstrate the profound nature, signal consequences and lasting implications of marriage.

In other words, it is from the Sacrament of Marriage that the Catholic Church the world over get and have all individuals who are recipients of nothing less than all the six other Sacraments. No wonder then, and rightly so, that Catholic Church in the four corners of the globe is seriously and continuously teaching the what, the why and how of the Marriage Covenant .

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