This summer, my husband and I had the great pleasure of witnessing two of our three sons marry. As I scrambled to help my oldest son gather his sacramental documentation – not an easy feat for a kid who was baptized in California, made his First Communion in Azerbaijan, and was confirmed in Belgium – I realized the walk to the marital altar is the result of a lifelong catechesis of word and deed.
Nothing less should be expected of an institution meant to be an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence in our human lives. Scripture reminds us that marriage is not a mere blessing, but the entering of a new reality created by God, Himself. In the sacrament of marriage, Christ communicates His grace so that we can flourish in a world of love, family, and community – the places and situations where we are our best human selves.
Blessings, sometimes called “sacramentals,” prepare us to receive the grace of the sacraments and help us to grow to be more like Christ. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1670) A blessing is not a warm fuzzy moment, but a call to action. To be like Christ who endured, suffered, and sacrificed His very life.
In what seems a moment of pique, Pope Francis has answered the questions posed by retired Cardinals who are rightly concerned about the blessings of same-sex unions within the context of the Magisterium of the Church. He has laid his theological cards on the table – suggesting that such blessings may now be possible in the Universal Church.
Continue reading at The Catholic Thing