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Why doesn’t this website use the terms “same-sex marriage” or “gay marriage”?

Posted Feb. 28, 2012 by Marriage Unique for a Reason 2 comments

The terms “same-sex marriage” and “gay marriage” beg the question: What is marriage? Is it even possible for two persons of the same sex to be married? Using the terms “same-sex marriage” and “gay marriage” already presupposes (wrongly) that marriage comes in a variety of forms: “same-sex,” “opposite-sex,” “homosexual,” “heterosexual,” and so forth.

Put another way, the sexual difference and complementarity of husband and wife is not something that is added to a pre-existing thing called “marriage,” like you might add sprinkles to a sundae. Instead, male-female complementarity is at the very heart of marriage and part of its authentic definition. Marriage wouldn’t be marriage without a man and a woman, a husband and a wife. This is why adding alternative adjectives to the word “marriage” (“same-sex,” “gay,” and so on) produces not another “variety” of marriage, but a different thing entirely. It radically alters what marriage is in its very essence.

In contrast, the goal of the Marriage: Unique for a Reason website is to explain and illuminate the singular reality that the word “marriage” refers to: the faithful, fruitful, lifelong union of one man and one woman. A reality, you might say, without any adjectives. In the end, what’s at stake is precisely the authentic meaning of marriage. We invite you to explore the resources available on this website to understand why marriage is and can only be the union of one man and one woman.

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Sunday Pope Quote: John Paul II on the demands of love

Posted Feb. 26, 2012 by Marriage Unique for a Reason No comments yet

Lent has begun – a time of prayer, fasting, penance, and alms-giving. It is a “demanding” time in many ways, a time that calls us to greater holiness. Today’s Sunday Pope Quote is also about something demanding – love. “Love is demanding,” says Bl. John Paul II. But the demands of love are not something we have to fulfill by our own power. Demanding love – true love – has within it the “power and strength of God himself.”

Bl. John Paul II: The love which the Apostle Paul celebrates in the First Letter to the Corinthians—the love which is “patient” and “kind”, and “endures all things” (1 Cor 13:4, 7)—is certainly a demanding love. But this is precisely the source of its beauty: by the very fact that it is demanding, it builds up the true good of man and allows it to radiate to others. The good, says Saint Thomas, is by its nature “diffusive”. Love is true when it creates the good of persons and of communities; it creates that good and gives it to others. Only the one who is able to be demanding with himself in the name of love can also demand love from others.

Love is demanding. It makes demands in all human situations; it is even more demanding in the case of those who are open to the Gospel. Is this not what Christ proclaims in “his” commandment? Nowadays people need to rediscover this demanding love, for it is the truly firm foundation of the family, a foundation able to “endure all things”. According to the Apostle, love is not able to “endure all things” if it yields to “jealousies”, or if it is “boastful… arrogant or rude” (cf. 1 Cor 13:5-6). True love, Saint Paul teaches, is different: “Love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor 13:7). This is the very love which “endures all things”. At work within it is the power and strength of God himself, who “is love” (1 Jn 4:8, 16). At work within it is also the power and strength of Christ, the Redeemer of man and Saviour of the world.

Letter to Families, no. 14 (emphasis added)

About this series:

Every Sunday, the Marriage: Unique for a Reason blog will feature a short quote from either our current Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, or our late Holy Father, Bl. John Paul II (or occasionally another pope). These two men have given the world an immense treasury of wisdom about marriage, love, and the meaning of the human person, all of which are topics integral to the Church’s witness today. Their words are well worth reflecting on, as we have much to learn from these wise successors of St. Peter.

All Sunday Pope Quotes

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Statement from Maryland Catholic Conference re: marriage redefinition in Maryland

Posted Feb. 24, 2012 by Marriage Unique for a Reason No comments yet

On Thursday, February 23, the Maryland State Senate unfortunately voted 25 to 22 in favor of a bill that would redefine marriage in Maryland. The bill had previously passed through the House by a narrow 72 to 67 margin and now makes its way to Governor O’Malley’s desk. The Governor, who had proposed the bill, is expected to sign it, which would make Maryland the eighth state to redefine marriage to the exclusion of sexual difference.

The Maryland Catholic Conference (MCC) released a statement yesterday lamenting the bill’s passage. They point out that the bill passed by “the narrowest of margins” and “was forced through the House with extraordinary political pressures and legislative maneuvers,” a point highlighted in a February 22 MCC statement following the House vote.

MCC writes in the February 23 statement, “Stripping marriage of its unique connection to parenthood erases from civil law the right of a child to a mother and father, and ignores an essential question of why government favors marriage between one man and one woman over all other relationships” (emphasis added).

The political battle over marriage in Maryland is far from over. Supporters of marriage’s perennial definition have the opportunity to bring the measure to voters with a referendum this November, provided that they can raise at least 55,000 signatures. The Maryland Catholic Conference sees this opportunity in a very positive light: “When this issue reaches the November ballot, we are confident that the citizens of Maryland will join voters in 31 other states in upholding marriage between one man and one woman.”

Read the entire statement from Maryland Catholic Conference.

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Ash Wednesday

Posted Feb. 22, 2012 by Marriage Unique for a Reason No comments yet

Today, Ash Wednesday, begins the liturgical season of Lent, a forty day preparation for the great feast of Easter. Traditionally, Lent is a time of increased prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as Christians seek to enter into Jesus’ Paschal Mystery of His suffering, death, and Resurrection.

In his Lenten Message this year, Pope Benedict reminded us that living the Christian life means recognizing the fundamental communion that exists among all people; by virtue of being human, we are all children of God, and therefore brothers and sisters. One effect of this profound communion is that we share responsibility for each other’s integral well-being, both physically and spiritually. As Pope Benedict explains, “The other is part of me, and…his or her life, his or her salvation, concern my own life and salvation. Here we touch upon a profound aspect of communion: our existence is related to that of others, for better or for worse. Both our sins and our acts of love have a social dimension.”

Both our sins and our acts of love have a social dimension. Our Holy Father’s short but powerful statement connects well with the Church’s teaching on marriage. Rather than being an entirely private relationship between a man and a woman, each and every marriage has a profound impact on the world. As the Second Vatican Council put it, “The well-being of the individual person and of human and Christian society is intimately linked with the healthy condition of that community produced by marriage and family” (GS, no. 47). The Church is concerned about marriage because she is concerned about the integral well-being of each and every person, who is invariably affected by marriage – or the lack thereof.

We invite you this Lent to join us in praying for the promotion and defense of marriage, using our prayer or your own.

Other resources for Lent:

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Sunday Pope Quote: Benedict XVI on the family and the meaning of life

Posted Feb. 21, 2012 by Marriage Unique for a Reason 1 comment

Today’s Sunday Pope Quote : Beautiful words about the family from Pope Benedict, given during a pastoral visit to Palermo in Italy in October 2010. Some highlights from his address follow.

Pope Benedict XVI: “The family is fundamental because that is where the first awareness of the meaning of life germinates in the human soul. It germinates in the relationship with the mother and the father, who are not masters of their children’s lives but are God’s primary collaborators in the transmission of life and faith.”

“Each one of us needs fertile ground in which to sink our own roots, a ground rich with nutritious substances that make a person grow: these are values, but above all they are love and faith, the knowledge of God’s true face, the awareness that he loves us infinitely, faithfully, patiently, to the point of giving his life for us.”

“Divine love, which unites a man and a woman and makes them become parents, is capable of generating in the hearts of their children the seed of faith, that is, the light of the deep meaning of life.”

Address during a Meeting with Young People and Families of Sicily in Palermo, Italy (Oct. 3, 2010)

About this series:

Every Sunday, the Marriage: Unique for a Reason blog will feature a short quote from either our current Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, or our late Holy Father, Bl. John Paul II (or occasionally another pope). These two men have given the world an immense treasury of wisdom about marriage, love, and the meaning of the human person, all of which are topics integral to the Church’s witness today. Their words are well worth reflecting on, as we have much to learn from these wise successors of St. Peter.

Previous Sunday Pope Quotes

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Married Saint: St. Philip Howard

Posted Feb. 17, 2012 by Marriage Unique for a Reason No comments yet

The basics:

  • Born June 28, 1557, in London
  • Died October 19, 1595, in the Tower of London
  • Canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul VI
  • Father of one son
  • Patron of betrayal victims and separated spouses

An image of St. Philip Howard.

In 1970, St. Philip Howard was named by Pope Paul VI one of the “Forty Martyrs of Wales and England.” Yet as with many martyrs, St. Philip’s early life was little indication of the supreme honor he would one day receive, dying for the sake of Christ.

Philip Howard was born in 1557 in an England that was still reeling from King Henry VIII’s establishment of the Church of England. During Philip’s childhood, “Bloody” Queen Mary was on the throne, a Catholic ruler who rejected the Church of England. Accordingly, Philip was baptized as a Catholic by the archbishop of York. He later pursued his education at Cambridge.

However, times were soon to change. Queen Elizabeth I succeeded Queen Mary, and the country once again became Protestant; more than that, Catholicism was strictly forbidden. As with so many Englishmen at the time, Philip’s father took the family with him back into the Church of England. Change was also happening in Philip’s home: his father remarried a woman with three daughters. At the young age of 14, St. Philip was given in marriage to one of these daughters, Anne; his other two brothers married the other two daughters.

St. Philip’s early years as a husband were none too pious. Climbing the career ladder was forefront in his mind, while family and faith fell by the wayside. His young wife, Anne, stayed admirably devoted to her inattentive and often moody husband, even as he spent more and more time at the Queen’s court, seeking to build his prestige and affluence. And yet it was here at Court that the seeds were sown for Philip’s later years of discipleship.

At the Queen’s court one day, Philip witnessed a theological debate between Anglican theologians and the Jesuit priest St. Edmund Campion. (St. Edmund would be martyred as a result of this dispute.) The words of St. Edmund took three years to penetrate Philip’s heart and mind, but when they did, he was solidly convinced of the truth of the Catholic faith. His conversion led him to devote more time to his wife and to prayer, and to generally amend his life. But it also caught the attention of the Queen who, recall, had outlawed Catholicism. After Philip wrote Her Majesty a letter – with feeling! – about his newfound faith, she had him thrown into the Tower of London.

In the Tower, Philip suffered all of the usual indignities. Confined to a small, unappealing space, and forbidden from seeing his wife or his newborn son, Philip suffered patiently, often repeating Jesus’ words from the Cross “Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.” Finally, on October 19, 1595, 38-year-old Philip took leave of this life to receive the crown of a martyr. He left his last testament on the wall of his cell, as if to remove any doubt about why and for whom he died: Quanto plus afflictions pro Christo in hoc saeculo, tanto plus gloriae cum Christo in futuro (“The more afflictions we bear for Christ in this world, the more glory we attain with Christ in the world to come.”)

St. Philip Howard, husband and martyr, pray for those who are persecuted because of their faith in Jesus and their love of His Church. Give strength especially to those husbands and wives who are separated from each other under difficult circumstances. Pray in a particular way for the faithful of England, that they may stay rooted in the love of Christ.

St. Philip Howard, pray for us!

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National Marriage Week: Closing Remarks from Bishop Cordileone

Posted Feb. 14, 2012 by Marriage Unique for a Reason 1 comment

Dear friends,

Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone

Today marks the end of National Marriage Week USA. It is no accident that its culmination falls on Valentine’s Day, which has long been regarded as a day to celebrate love. Indeed, love is a great gift; even more, love is “the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being” (Catechism, no. 1604). Every man and woman, created in the image of a God who is Love, is called to the vocation of love.

Reflecting on the gift of love moves us to reflect on the gift of marriage, which is a unique and privileged instance of love. As our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his encyclical Deus Caritas Est (God is Love), among the many meanings given to the word “love” today, “one in particular stands out: love between man and woman, where body and soul are inseparably joined and human beings glimpse an apparently irresistible promise of happiness. This would seem to be the very epitome of love” (no. 2).

Marriage is indeed a great gift, and a great witness to the beauty of love. The lifelong, life-giving bond formed between husband and wife is a great good not only for them, but also for any children who come from their union, and for all of society. As National Marriage Week USA draws to a close, I encourage each of you to continue praying that all in our nation would recognize and protect the unique beauty of marriage.

May the Lord bless you abundantly,

Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone
Bishop of Oakland
Chairman, Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage

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National Marriage Week: Returning to the Sources

Posted Feb. 13, 2012 by Marriage Unique for a Reason No comments yet

“I want to explain the Church’s teaching on marriage when it comes up in conversation…but I just don’t know how!”

Has this thought ever crossed your mind? If so, you’re not alone! Articulating what the Catholic Church believes and teaches about marriage can be difficult, especially in a cultural climate where many of its main tenets are rejected.

One strategy is to return to the sources. That is, become knowledgeable about the Church’s authoritative teaching on marriage, as found in major papal and episcopal documents and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Frequent consultation of these main sources helps us to become ever more fluent in the “language” of the Church when she speaks about marriage. And when difficult questions come up in conversation or surface in the media, it’s helpful to know where to turn for solid answers.

But where to begin? Below, we offer an introduction to a few of the many important documents about marriage. We encourage you to become acquainted (or perhaps re-acquainted) with the Church’s beautiful and timeless teaching on marriage.

*Note: the following is not meant to be an exhaustive list. Additional sources will be highlighted in future posts.

1. USCCB, Pastoral Letter Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan (2009)

  • Why it matters: It’s the most recent document on marriage from the entire body of U.S. bishops, approved in 2009.
  • Structure:
    • Mini-book, 58 pages long
    • Part One: Marriage in the Order of Creation (The Natural Institution of Marriage)
    • Part Two: Marriage in the Order of the New Creation (The Sacrament of Matrimony)
  • Highlights:
    • Identifies four “fundamental challenges” to marriage: contraception, same-sex unions, divorce, and cohabitation (pp. 17-27).
    • Reflects on marriage as a vocation and offers advice to married couples seeking to grow in virtue (pp. 43-45).
  • Quotable:
    • “For all who seek to find meaning in their marriage will do so when they are open to accepting the transcendent meaning of marriage according to God’s plan” (p. 4).
    • “Male and female are distinct bodily ways of being human, of being open to God and to one another – two distinct yet harmonizing ways of responding to the vocation to love” (p. 10).
    • “The marital vocation is not a private or merely personal affair. Yes, marriage is a deeply personal union and relationship, but it is also for the good of the Church and the entire community” (p. 44).
  • Additional Resources:

2. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed. (1997)

  • Why it matters: The Catechism conveys the essential content of the Catholic faith (including its teaching on marriage) in a complete and summary way. Divided into easy-to-digest paragraphs, the Catechism also provides numerous footnotes for further study.
  • Structure and key sections:
    • 904 pages, divided into four parts and 2,865 paragraphs
    • The sacrament of matrimony: nos. 1601-1606
      • See especially “The goods and requirements of conjugal love” – nos. 1643-1654
    • Sexual difference: nos. 369-373 and 2331-2336
    • The love of husband and wife: nos. 2360-2379
    • Offenses against the dignity of marriage: nos. 2380-2391
  • Quotable:
    • “God created man and woman together and willed each for the other” (no. 371).
    • “The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator” (no. 1603).
    • “Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity” (no. 2333).
    • “Fecundity is a gift, an end of marriage, for conjugal love naturally tends to be fruitful” (no. 2366).
  • Additional Resources:

3. Bl. John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (1981)

  • English title: On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World
  • Why it matters: Promulgated in response to the 1980 Synod of Bishops, Familiaris Consortio reads like a “little summa” of the theology of marriage and the family. Its pastoral advice, which touches on a diverse range of topics from women and society to responsible parenthood to mixed marriages to divorce, is grounded on a robust anthropology of the human person and theology of marriage and the family. It calls the family to a simple but profound mission: “Family, become what you are!”
  • Structure:
    • 86 sections
    • Part One: Bright Spots and Shadows for the Family Today
    • Part Two: The Plan of God for Marriage and the Family
    • Part Three: The Role of the Christian Family
      • 1) Forming a Community of Persons
      • 2) Serving Life
      • 3) Participating in the Development of Society
      • 4) Sharing in the Life and Mission of the Church
    • Part Four: Pastoral Care of the Family: Stages, Structures, Agents and Situations
  • Quotable:
    • “Love is therefore the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being” (no. 11).
    • “Every act of true love toward a human being bears witness to and perfects the spiritual fecundity of the family, since it is an act of obedience to the deep inner dynamism of love as self-giving to others” (no. 41).
    • “The future of the world and of the church passes through the family” (no. 75).
  • Additional Resources

4. Bl. John Paul II, Letter to Families (1994)

  • Why it matters: Promulgated during the Year of the Family, John Paul II addressed this letter “not to families ‘in the abstract’ but to every particular family in every part of the world” (no. 4). A perfect complement to the longer Familiaris Consortio, Letter to Families invites families to reflect on their identity (especially its likeness to the Triune God) and their mission (building a civilization of love).
  • Structure:
    • 23 sections
    • Part One: The Civilization of Love
      • Includes: marital covenant and communion, sincere gift of self, and responsible parenthood
    • Part Two: The Bridegroom is with You
      • Includes: reflections on the wedding at Cana, the sacrament of marriage, and Mary
  • Quotable:
    • “When a man and woman in marriage mutually give and receive each other in the unity of ‘one flesh,’ the logic of the sincere gift of self becomes a part of their life” (no. 11).
    • “Freedom cannot be understood as a license to do absolutely anything: it means a gift of self. Even more: it means an interior discipline of the gift” (no. 14).
    • “Families are meant to contribute to the transformation of the earth and the renewal of the world, of creation and of all humanity” (no. 18).

 

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Sunday Pope Quote: Paul VI on the vocation and task of married couples

Posted Feb. 12, 2012 by Marriage Unique for a Reason No comments yet

Today’s Sunday Pope Quote comes from Pope Paul VI’s words to married couples, found in his 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae.

Pope Paul VI: And now We turn in a special way to Our own sons and daughters, to those most of all whom God calls to serve Him in the state of marriage. While the Church does indeed hand on to her children the inviolable conditions laid down by God’s law, she is also the herald of salvation and through the sacraments she flings wide open the channels of grace through which man is made a new creature responding in charity and true freedom to the design of his Creator and Savior, experiencing too the sweetness of the yoke of Christ. [see Mt. 11:30]

In humble obedience then to her voice, let Christian husbands and wives be mindful of their vocation to the Christian life, a vocation which, deriving from their Baptism, has been confirmed anew and made more explicit by the Sacrament of Matrimony. For by this sacrament they are strengthened and, one might almost say, consecrated to the faithful fulfillment of their duties. Thus will they realize to the full their calling and bear witness as becomes them, to Christ before the world. [See GS, no. 48] For the Lord has entrusted to them the task of making visible to men and women the holiness and joy of the law which united inseparably their love for one another and the cooperation they give to God’s love, God who is the Author of human life.

We have no wish at all to pass over in silence the difficulties, at times very great, which beset the lives of Christian married couples. For them, as indeed for every one of us, “the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life.” [Mt. 7:14; see Heb. 12:11] Nevertheless it is precisely the hope of that life which, like a brightly burning torch, lights up their journey, as, strong in spirit, they strive to live “sober, upright and godly lives in this world,” [Ti 2:12] knowing for sure that “the form of this world is passing away.” [See 1 Cor 7:31]

Humanae Vitae, no. 25

About this series:

Every Sunday, the Marriage: Unique for a Reason blog will feature a short quote from either our current Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, or our late Holy Father, Bl. John Paul II (or occasionally another pope). These two men have given the world an immense treasury of wisdom about marriage, love, and the meaning of the human person, all of which are topics integral to the Church’s witness today. Their words are well worth reflecting on, as we have much to learn from these wise successors of St. Peter.

All Sunday Pope Quotes

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National Marriage Week: What does sexual difference have to do with marriage?

Posted Feb. 10, 2012 by Marriage Unique for a Reason No comments yet

Today is the fourth day of National Marriage Week. On Tuesday, we reflected on what makes marriage unique, different from any other relationship on earth. Today the topic is more focused: why does sexual difference matter for marriage? In other words, why is marriage the union of one man and one woman?

What is sexual difference?

1)      The call to accept one’s sexual identity as a man or as a woman

As we did before, let’s begin with the human person, with an authentic anthropology. Crucial here is the fact that to exist as a human person means to be embodied. (When was the last time you met someone without a body?) Echoing Bl. John Paul II’s terminology, we can say that the body “reveals” man and is “an expression of the person” (TOB, 9.4 and 27.3). In other words, encountering a living human body means at the same time encountering a human person. The body is not just a shell or a conduit for one’s “real” self but is intimately and inseparably united with one’s identity, one’s “I”.

Further, to exist as a human person means to exist as a man or as a woman. The human body is fundamentally a gendered reality, not a gender-less (androgynous) one.[1] And because the body is a deeply personal reality and not just a biological fact, being a man or being a woman is not just a matter of anatomical features or “the shape of my skin.” Instead, one’s sexual identity – as a man or as a woman – affects a person at every level of his or her existence (biologically, psychologically, genetically, and so forth). As the Catechism puts it, “Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul… Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity” (CCC, nos. 2332 and 2333, emphasis in original).

2)      An irreducible and dynamic difference

What does sexual identity have to do with sexual difference? Simply this: when we speak of sexual difference, we mean both the existence of two distinct sexual identities (man or woman) and the built-in mutual relationship between them. In other words, sexual difference has to do with the irreducible and dynamic difference of man to woman and woman to man.

Why “irreducible”? Because sexual difference is primordial, basic, and unique. It is fundamental to human experience and reality. Unlike other differences between people, sexual difference undergirds everything that we are as human persons, male or female. Sexual difference cuts across geographic, ethnic, and other differences, being in fact more basic than these other differences.

Why “dynamic”? Because sexual difference distinguishes in order to unite. In fact, sexual difference is precisely what enables communion between man and woman to exist at all. (More on this soon.)

Put another way, sexual difference is a mutually referential kind of difference – we know woman fully only by knowing man, and know man fully only by knowing woman. The differences between them do not just set them apart but hint at something more, at a call to communion between them. This call to communion inscribed in man and woman is part of what Bl. John Paul II had in mind when he wrote the following:

“The person, by the light of reason and the support of virtue, discovers in the body the anticipatory signs, the expression and the promise of the gift of self, in conformity with the wise plan of the Creator” (VS, no. 48).

Sexual difference, then, far from being merely a biological or anatomical fact, communicates a wealth of truth about the human person! If we have the eyes to see, as Bl. John Paul II urges us to, we’ll see in the human person’s identity as man and woman the “anticipatory signs” of the “gift of self,” or, using the language of the Catechism, we’ll see the call to love, which is the “fundamental and innate vocation of every human being” (CCC, no. 1604).

Sexual difference and marriage

We are now well-poised to understand what sexual difference has to do with marriage. As a recap of Tuesday’s post, marriage is a unique relationship that has a number of essential characteristics (without which marriage wouldn’t be marriage):

  • Marriage is total (gift of self)
  • Marriage is faithful and exclusive (a truthful gift)
  • Marriage is forever (the gift of one’s future)
  • Marriage is life-giving (the gift of one’s fertility)

Sexual difference matters here: it is the ground (the foundation) of the capacity of husband and wife to exchange a mutual, total gift of their entire selves, a gift precisely at the center of what marriage is. Without sexual difference, this gift would not be possible. Put more specifically: the love between husband and wife involves a free, total, and faithful gift of self that not only expresses love but also opens the spouses to receive the gift of a child. No other human interaction on earth is like this!

Sexual difference, then, is not an optional “add-on” to an already existing entity called “marriage” (much like you might choose to add sprinkles to your ice cream – or not). Instead, sexual difference is at the very heart of what marriage is. It’s what capacitates man and woman to give themselves completely to each other as husband and wife. Sexual difference matters for marriage.

Interested in learning more? Check out the DVD “Made for Each Other,” its Viewer’s Guide and Resource Booklet, and all of the Sexual Difference FAQs. Also see the previous blog series on sexual difference.


[1] Even in circumstances when a person expresses ambiguous genitalia or departs from the XX/XY genetic standard, the anomaly is recognized precisely due to its discordance with healthy, normal presentation as male or female.