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410

Part Two

gives them the strength to take up their crosses and so follow him,

to rise again after they have fallen, to forgive one another, to bear one

another’s burdens, to “be subject to one another out of reverence for

Christ,”

150

and to love one another with supernatural, tender, and

fruitful love. In the joys of their love and family life he gives themhere

on earth a foretaste of the wedding feast of the Lamb:

How can I ever express the happiness of a marriage joined by

the Church, strengthened by an offering, sealed by a blessing,

announced by angels, and ratified by the Father? . . . How

wonderful the bond between two believers, now one in

hope, one in desire, one in discipline, one in the same service!

They are both children of one Father and servants of the

same Master, undivided in spirit and flesh, truly two in one

flesh. Where the flesh is one, one also is the spirit.

151

V.

T

he

G

oods and

R

equirements of

C

onjugal

L

ove

1643

“Conjugal love involves a totality, in which all the ele-

ments of the person enter—appeal of the body and instinct, power

of feeling and affectivity, aspiration of the spirit and of will. It aims

at a deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh,

leads to forming one heart and soul; it demands

indissolubility

and

faithfulness

in definitive mutual giving; and it is open to

fertility.

In

a word it is a question of the normal characteristics of all natural

conjugal love, but with a new significance which not only purifies

and strengthens them, but raises them to the extent of making them

the expression of specifically Christian values.”

152

The unity and indissolubility of marriage

1644

The love of the spouses requires, of its very nature, the

unity and indissolubility of the spouses’ community of persons,

which embraces their entire life: “so they are no longer two, but one

flesh.”

153

They “are called to grow continually in their communion

through day-to-day fidelity to their marriage promise of total

mutual self-giving.”

154

This human communion is confirmed, pu-

rified, and completed by communion in Jesus Christ, given

through the sacrament of Matrimony. It is deepened by lives of the

common faith and by the Eucharist received together.

150

Eph

5:21; cf.

Gal

6:2.

151 Tertullian,

Ad uxorem.

2, 8, 6-7: PL 1, 1412-1413; cf.

FC

13.

152

FC

13.

153

Mt

19:6; cf.

Gen

2:24.

154

FC

19.

2361