The Trinity is present in the Temple of Marital Communion

by | Apr 22, 2016 | Church, Marriage, Spirituality

“The Trinity is present in the Temple of Marital Communion”, is taken from the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love – On Love in the Family) paragraph 314.

When one stops to take in the magnitude of this beautiful truth, one which I have tried very hard to unpack week by week since October 2014, we can begin to see just how much time we need to think, reflect and above all pray about the implications of this absolute truth.

Last week I said that Amoris Laetitia will take a lot of pondering and studying. As the Pope himself warns in paragraph 7 we must not undertake a “rushed reading” of the document. So over the next few weeks (I’ve not yet decided for how long) I am going to extract what I think are some key phrases from the exhortation that might be worth our prayerful attention. I do this as gesture of service to regular readers of the Friday Fast not least because I know that many of you simply won’t have the time to plough through a 60,000 word document!

Years ago I can still recall with dread having to comment on extracts of poetry or plays of Shakespeare for examinations in English literature. These little gems of culture known as ‘gobbets’ were often the bane of my life as an adolescent but then as I grew in knowledge of them and confidence in commenting on them, my love of them grew and recalling them later in life has often been useful. So in that spirit, I offer the following ‘gobbets’ from Amoris Laetitia in the hope that you will find them useful, and even perhaps memorise them for your prayer life. For as the great St. John Vianney once said; “that which is worth remembering is worth committing to memory”

“[Christian] spirituality becomes incarnate in the communion of the family. Hence, those who have deep spiritual aspirations should not feel that [being married and raising a family] detracts from their growth in the life of the Spirit, but rather see it as a path which the Lord is using to lead them to the heights of mystical union” (316).

“Sexual union, lovingly experienced and sanctified by the sacrament, is in turn a path of growth in the life of grace for the couple. It is the ‘nuptial mystery’” (74).

“Each marriage is a kind of ‘salvation history’, which from fragile beginnings – thanks to God’s gift and a creative and generous response on our part – grows over time into something precious and enduring” (221).

“[T]he erotic dimension of love … must be seen as a gift from God that enriches the relationship of the spouses. As a passion sublimated [that means raised up, properly directed, made ‘sublime’] by a love respectful of the dignity of the other, it becomes a ‘pure, unadulterated affirmation’ revealing the marvels of which the human heart is capable” (152).

Edmund Adamus

Edmund Adamus

Edmund is currently Education Consultant for the human sexuality formation programme A Fertile Heart, Receiving and Giving Creative Love a theology of the body oriented resource for Catholic schools and families. He has worked professionally within varied leadership roles in the Church since 1990. Edmund was Private Secretary to two diocesan bishops. From 2003-2016 as Director of Pastoral Affairs in Westminster. He has contributed to various Vatican publications and addressed the VIth World Meeting of Families in Mexico in 2009. In 2007, he established the St. John Southworth Fund grants scheme on behalf of the Archdiocese of Westminster awarding more than £2m to help alleviate poverty for families across London. He helped establish Caritas Westminster in 2011. He addressed the 2014 annual conference of the American Academy for Fertility Care Professionals on Fertility Awareness –a Male Perspective; and was a guest speaker at the "Re-Engaging Humanae Vitae" conference at Ave Maria University, Florida in 2016. He has been actively involved in Catholic education for over 30 years and is UK representative for the GoodLove Foundation a global platform of sexuality formation resources for parents sponsored by the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. Among his most notable achievements is the establishment of the annual Mass of Thanksgiving for Matrimony at Westminster Cathedral, London, which since 2008 has gathered more than 15,000 couples to renew their marital commitment.  


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