Vatican City, 2 April 2014 (VIS) -
"We were created to love, as a reflection of God and his love. And in matrimonial union the man and woman realise this vocation, as a sign of reciprocity and the full and definitive communion of life". When a man and a woman receive the Sacrament of marriage, "God is, so to say, 'mirrored' in them, he imprints in them the features and indelible nature of His love. Marriage is the icon of God's love for us. Indeed, God too is communion: the three Persons of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit have always lived and live for ever in perfect unity. And this is the mystery of marriage: God makes married couples into one existence. The Bible uses a strong term: it says one 'flesh' only, so intimate is the union between man and woman in marriage. And this is the mystery of marriage: God's love that is reflected in the couple who decide to live together".
Francis mentioned that, in his Letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul emphasizes that Christian married couples reflect the great mystery of the relationship that Christ establishes with the Church, which means that "marriage responds to a specific vocation and must be considered as a consecration. The man and woman consecrate themselves in their love. Married couples, thanks to the Sacrament, are invested with a genuine mission, that of making visible, starting with simple and ordinary things, the love Christ has for His Church".
"The plan inherent in marriage is a truly wonderful! It is expressed in the simplicity, and also the fragility, of the human condition. We are well aware of the many difficulties and trials there may be in the life of a married couple. ... The important thing is to keep alive the link with God, which is at the basis of the matrimonial bond. When a husband prays for his wife, and a wife for her husband, the bond remains strong; each one prays for the other. It is true that married life has many difficulties: work, there isn't enough money, there are problems with the children ... and often the husband and wife become irritable and argue amongst themselves. There are always arguments in marriages, and at times even plates are thrown. But we must not be sad about this: this is the human condition. And the secret is that love is stronger than the moments in which we argue, and I therefore always advise married couples never to let the day draw to an end without making peace. There is no need to call in the United Nations peacekeepers. A little gesture is enough: a caress, see you tomorrow, and tomorrow we start afresh. This is life, and we must face it in this way, with the courage of living it together. Married life is beautiful, and must be protected".
The Sacrament of Marriage Christian Marriage, a lifelong union between a man and a woman, is a sign of Christ’s love for his Church.
Arrangements for marriage should be made as early as possible. (At least six months notice should be given)
Couples are required to attend a recognised pre-
marriage abroad, a longer notice is required in order To complete the required documentation.
Marriage Care (Catholic Marriage Counselling)
Marriage Care is the official organisation for Marriage Guidance and Counselling
Havering / Brentwood 01277 354 427
Ilford 020 8559 0862
Helpline Mondays & Thursdays 0345 573 921
National Appointment Service 0800 389 3801