THE THREE OF GOODS OF MARRIAGE

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THE THREE OF GOODS OF MARRIAGE

  1. 1. THE THREE GOODS OF MARRIAGE The expression "goods" (or "bona") of marriage originated with St. Augustine, one of the leading figures in the history of western thought.
  2. 2. St. Augustine  In his early Catholic years, he defended the greatness and dignity of marriage against the pessimism of the Manicheans, who held material creation, including the human body (and therefore also sexuality and marriage), to be evil. Later on he combatted an error at the other extreme: the pseudo-optimism of the Pelagians who denied the presence of any disordered and selfish element in sexuality, and therefore ignored the importance of married chastity and the need for the grace of God in order to live it.
  3. 3. In St. Augustine's writings, we find constant insistence that marriage is good because of three fundamental values or "goods". He says: "Let these nuptial goods be the objects of our love: offspring, fidelity, the unbreakable bond... Let these nuptial goods be praised in marriage by him who wishes to extol the nuptial institution“ The three "bona" are essential properties which distinguish the marital covenant from any other type of relationship between two persons "This is the goodness ["bonum"] of marriage, from which it takes its glory: offspring, chaste fidelity, unbreakable bond"
  4. 4. 1. Offspring The (potential) fruitfulness of the union (procreativity or the openness to having children: the "bonum prolis", or the "good" of offspring). The fruitfulness of the conjugal union fulfils man's and woman's normal longing for self-perpetuation and for the perpetuation, in offspring, of the conjugal love between them. "A child does not come from outside as something added on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit and fulfillment" (CCC 2366).
  5. 5. 1. Offspring The fruitfulness of conjugal love extends to the fruits of the moral, spiritual, and supernatural life that parents hand on to their children by education. Parents are the principal and first educators of their children. In this sense the fundamental task of marriage and family is to be at the service of life. Spouses to whom God has not granted children can nevertheless have a conjugal life full of meaning, in both human and Christian terms. Their marriage can radiate a fruitfulness of charity, of hospitality, and of sacrifice.
  6. 6. 2. Chaste Fidelity The exclusive fidelity of the marital relationship (one man with one woman: the "bonum fidei") Many people today are suspicious of an exclusive relationship. And yet everyone wants to be someone very special in someone else's eyes. Hence arises the good or value of the "bonum fidei", the commitment to a faithful and exclusive love in marriage. The person who does not wish to "belong" to someone else (in a mutual "belonging") consigns himself or herself to perpetual isolation and loneliness.
  7. 7. be Faithful Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle (1972), 142– 43. There are those married people who permit their eyes to wander and their hearts to become vagrant, who think it is not improper to flirt a little, to share their hearts and have desire for someone other than the wife or the husband. The Lord says in no uncertain terms: “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else” And, when the Lord says all thy heart, it allows for no sharing nor dividing nor depriving. And, to the woman it is paraphrased: “Thou shalt love thy husband with all thy heart and shalt cleave unto him and none else.” The words none else eliminate everyone and everything. The spouse then becomes preeminent in the life of the husband or wife, and neither social life nor occupational life nor political life nor any other interest nor person nor thing shall ever take precedence over the companion spouse.
  8. 8. 3. Unbreakable Bond The permanence of the relationship (the unbreakable character or indissolubility of the marital bond: the "bonum sacramenti") Many people today are suspicious of binding themselves for ever. And nevertheless that is what love aspires after: "I'll love you for always". "Love seeks to be definitive; it cannot be an arrangement 'until further notice'..." (CCC 1646).
  9. 9. 3. Unbreakable Bond When there is acceptance of a permanent bond of love, one enjoys the goodness of knowing one is entering a stable home or haven, that one's "belonging" to another - and that other's belonging to one - is for keeps. People want this, and while they know that it will require sacrifices, it should be natural for them to sense that the sacrifices are worth it. "It is natural for the human heart to accept demands, even difficult ones, in the name of love for an ideal, and above all in the name of love for a person“ –Pope John Paul II
  10. 10. No normal person wants to be just one of the wives or the husbands of another. No normal person wants to be accepted as spouse on trial or just for a time. No normal person marries positively excluding children.

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