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Marriage and the Bride of Christ

On the 15th of March this year, the CDF made a statement responding to certain persons in the Church who asked if the Church can bless same sex sexual unions. Since then, social media has been full of people expressing sorrow and upset at what is really just a reiteration of basic Church teachings. Yet, speaking as a Catholic who has SSA and who lives the Church's teaching in my daily life, I see nothing wrong with or hurtful included in the statement (read it here: In fact, I find it reassuring to know that my Mother the Church wants to help me, and others, understand this important issue.

Let's first have a look at marriage. To start with, it is not a get-out-of-chastity free card. A person can be guilty of the sin of lust towards his or her spouse, and in need of confession! We are all, whether married, single, or consecrated, meant to be working constantly towards growing in a purity that would never see the other person as a way to sate our lust.

To those who say, 'But straight people can get married'.. be warned. Christian marriage does not look like secular marriage. There is no contraception, times of sexual abstinence and there is no divorce. If you have to separate, there is no remarriage. It is not a contract, but a covenant that cannot be broken. According to St Paul (Ephesians 4), the marriage of a man and woman, in a particular way, is an icon of Christ and the Church. That is why it is a Sacrament, and not something we can change to suit our tastes.

But here is the thing. Whether or not we are called to marriage here on earth, we are all called to a marriage in heaven. We are called to be the Bride of Christ, the Bride to God Himself. So, no, those of us with same sex attraction might not get to experience marriage - or even consecrated life, for many of us - here on Earth. But in our daily lives, we can and should grow in anticipation of and give witness of the marriage to which we are called. The marriage of the Lamb.

How do we enter into that romance now? One of the goals of Courage has some great suggestions: "To dedicate our entire lives to Christ through service to others, spiritual reading, prayer, meditation, individual spiritual direction, frequent attendance at Mass, and the frequent reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist." (2nd Goal of Courage)

Personally, I am swept up in that romance. I learn more about Him every day, by reading scripture, praying my rosary, and often by just sitting in silence in His presence. I have a special love (and how I miss it!!) for Eucharistic Adoration. If you feel lonely, I suggest you try it. Go sit with Him and talk to Him! We all want things like the perfect family, the white picket fence, the successful and well-paying job. But what is really important is that we obey our Mother, the Church, that our hearts belong first to Him, and that we follow Him to the cross.

Elena Feick

Elena is studying at the Theology of the Body Institute and an active member of her Parish and of Courage, a Catholic Apostolate that helps people with Same Sex attraction within the Church.

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