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Chapter 21. The Sacrament of Marriage • 287

It can seem difficult, or even impossible, to bind oneself for life

to another human being. This makes it all the more important

to proclaim the Good News that God loves us with a definitive

and irrevocable love, that married couple share in this love, that

it supports and sustains them, and that by their own faithful-

ness they can be witnesses to God’s faithful love. Spouses who

with God’s grace give this witness, often in very difficult condi-

tions, deserve the gratitude and support of the ecclesial commu-

nity. (CCC, no. 1648)


Married couples have always experienced problems that threaten their

union: jealousy, infidelity, conflicts, and quarrels. Lust and arbitrary

domination can ruin a marriage. These issues arise from the impact of

sin, both Original and actual. The first sin disrupted the original commu-

nion of man and woman. Despite this, God’s plan for marriage persisted.

He never failed to provide mercy and healing grace to help couples sus-

tain their marriages. Sadly, some spouses fail to benefit from the Lord’s

help and from the many professional resources and support offered to


The Church’s fidelity to Christ’s teaching on marriage and against

divorce does not imply insensitivity to the pain of the persons facing

these unhappy situations. When divorce is the only possible recourse,

the Church offers her support to those involved and encourages them to

remain close to the Lord through frequent reception of the Sacraments,

especially the Holy Eucharist. In the case of those who have divorced

civilly and remarried, even though the Church considers the second mar-

riage invalid, she does not want these Catholics to be alienated from her.

Toward Christians who live in this situation, and who often

keep the faith and desire to bring up their children in a Christian

manner, priests and the whole community must manifest an

attentive solicitude, so that they do not consider themselves sep-

arated from the Church, in whose life they can and must partici-

pate as baptized persons. (CCC, no. 1651)