“What God Has Joined, Let Not Man Put Asunder”…..Unless ….

nuptials.jpgOne of the most respected American sociologists, Andrew Cherlin, has recently published The Marriage-Go-Round: the State of Marriage and the Family in America. True to his role at Johns Hopkins University, he proposes in his new work, not only a sociologically based characterization of the American family, but also a public policy response. The book is as important and revealing as it is overwhelming and discouraging to supporters of children’s welfare and the overall strength of marriage and families. 
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The “Good of the Spouses” and Marriage as a Vocation to Holiness

william_e_may.jpgIntroduction
Long ago St. Augustine distinguished three cardinal goods of marriage: the good of offspring (bonum prolis) who are to be begotten lovingly, nurtured humanely, and educated religiously; the good of steadfast fidelity (bonum fidei) between husband and wife; and the good of the sacrament (bonum sacramenti),  which entails both the holy bond of indissoluble unity (sacrum vinculum) and sacramental sign (sacramentum signum), the good of the sacrament in the strict sense as the good pointing to and inwardly participating in Christ’s bridal union with his spouse, the Church (St. Augustine developed his teaching on the threefold good of marriage principally in On the Good of Marriage (De bono coniugali),On Marriage and Concupiscence ( De nuptiis et concupiscentia),and The Literal Meaning of Genesis ( De genesi ad litteram). Subsequent Catholic tradition made these goods its own, constantly affirming them; in fact, Pope Pius XI structured his 1930 encyclical On Chaste Marriage (Casti connubii) around these three Augustinian goods.. Read

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