about marriage then, as a holy union, especially when procreation is not
n speaking about Holy Matrimony,
first its important to understand one thing: Christ taught us plainly
that Holy Matrimony is not for
said to Him, If that is the case with a man and his
it is better not to marry. He answered, Not all can accept [this]
word, but only those to whom it is granted. Some are incapable of marriage
because they were born
some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced
marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever can accept this ought
A Gift from
This tells us that Holy Matrimony
is a gift from God. Although some persons do not receive that gift, and although
some persons pass it by for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven, anyone who
can accept the gift must also accept the strict conditions
under which it is given. Christs own words show us, therefore, that
Holy Matrimony is not some sort of civil right, or some sort
of way to avoid feelings of loneliness.
Now, to get to the intent of
your question, several possibilities can be considered in regard to the meaning
of procreation not being possible. It could be that a person
is incapable of functioning reproductively because of a birth defect or physical
injury. It could be that a husband and wife discover that they are infertile.
It could be that a post-menopausal woman is considering matrimony again after
having been divorced (with the marriage annulled) or widowed. Or it could be that
a woman who has been single all her life now, in her later years, has met a man
who suggests Holy Matrimony.
Well, in the first case, a person
physically incapable of reproduction could, as long as there are no other
impediments to Holy Matrimony, enter into matrimony with the plan of forming
a family by adopting children. And, in the second case, adoption would also be
a possibility for an infertile couple already
bound by the sacrament of Holy Matrimony.
Need for a Complete Family
In the third case, it can be
asked whether either the man or the woman has any children still young enough
to benefit from a holy family with both a mother and a father; if so, a new
matrimonial union for the person with the children would be a benefit
to the children.
Marriage of Convenience?
As for the fourth case, it should
be asked how Holy Matrimony in this case would serve God. If the only purpose
of taking the sacrament were to provide personal pleasure and companionship,
then how would that be of service to God? We are told, as Christians, to
seek the spirit, not the flesh, and to avoid the great sin of
lust. Now, you are free to
do what you want to do, and you can make up
your own religion if you want. But if you want to live a genuine Christian
life, then at least do what we have been instructed. You simply cannot be
Christian if you look for emotional fulfillment in another
If anyone comes
to me without
his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even
his own life, he cannot be My disciple.
What, then, should such a person
do? Well, consider that a chaste single life under those
conditions while pursuing an individual or communal life of prayer and service to
others in the greater family of the Church might serve God far more than a
marriage of convenience.
To be able to
endure feeling rejection and loneliness, to continue on in
humility, and not to think that you deserve far
better is a real blessing, especially if you can feel this way for the honor
of God, and if you do so willingly.
Thomas à Kempis
The Imitation of Christ,
Bk 2, Ch 9: Of Emptiness
(Trans. by William Creasy)
And, in lieu of procreation,
those persons could turn their attention to the Kingdom of Heaven and work
for the salvation of those souls already born.
In all that has been said above,
one basic fact should stand out: Holy Matrimony is a spiritual responsibility,
not a personal right. Sadly, most persons today see the meaning of their
lives in terms of happiness; even many Catholics have fallen into this trap,
and even many Catholics have forsaken the Cross for the sake of their own
self-satisfaction; they have grown lukewarm in faith, accepting the ways
of the anti-Christian culture around them without
Esau sold his
birthright for a serving of stew (Genesis 25: 2934), and many Christians
today are just as willing to sell their birthrighttheir
baptismal birthrightfor an
That is, considering that remarriage after divorce is adultery (Matthew
That is, they were born with a physical defect making them incapable of the
That is, anyone who is capable of marriage and who chooses to get married
(rather than renounce marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven) has
to accept the fact that remarriage after divorce is adultery.
Hate as used here does not mean to wish harm to. Instead
it means to remove your emotional dependence on.