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Reflections: Catholic Life Section (Mrg./Fmly.)

The Holy Family

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Against Divorce & 'Remarriage'

Children / Youth

Crucifix in the Home

Decoration of the Home

Family / Families

Fathers / Fatherhood

Femininity & The Virgin Mary

Fostering Vocations / Vocations in the Family

An Ideal Home

Idleness & Young People

Legitimate / Illegitimate Children

Marital Relations

Marital Separation

Marriage

Marriage Not Equal to Virginity

Marriage Not Recommended for All

Matrimony (Sacraments Reflections)

Men

Mixed Marriage

Mothers / Motherhood

Parental Discipline

Parents / Parenting

Primacy of Husband / Obedience of Wife

Sterility is Not an Impediment to Marriage

Women / Womanhood

Also See: Education

Category
Quotation

Against Divorce & 'Remarriage'

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Children / Youth

"Train a boy in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not swerve from it." (Prov. 22:6)

"The father of a just man will exult with glee; he who begets a wise son will have joy in him." (Prov. 23:24)

"He who loves his son chastises him often, that he may be his joy when he grows up." (Sirach 30:1)

"Desire not a brood of worthless children, nor rejoice in wicked offspring. Many though they be, exult not in them if they have not the fear of the LORD. Count not on their length of life, have no hope in their future. For one can be better than a thousand; rather die childless than have godless children!" (Sirach 6:1-3)

"Jesus said, 'Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'" (Mt. 19:14)

"Children, obey your parents (in the Lord), for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother.' This is the first commandment with a promise, 'that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life on earth.'" (Eph. 6:1-3)

"It is true that the hope of a better future is founded on a good, obedient youth." (St. John Vianney)

"Remember that He too was once a young man, for Jesus Christ is the God-Child, the God-Youth, the God-Man, the God of all ages." (St. Theophane Venard)

"If you wish to have pious, good children, you must first of yourself be God-fearing and lead good lives. As the tree, so will the fruit be." (St. John Vianney)

"[T]he boy's father having neglected the soul of his little son, fostered no little sinner for the flames of hell." (Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"It is not enough to be good, tender, generous; one must also be wise and strong. The indulgent weakness of parents blinds them, to the detriment of their children." (Pope Pius XII)

"How often today must parents and educators bewail the corruption of youth brought about by the modern theater and the vile book!" (Pope Pius XI, "Divini Illius Magistri", 1929)

"Children also have their own apostolic work to do. According to their ability they are true living witnesses of Christ among their companions." (Second Vatican Council)

"In the presence of the people, my Redeemer and Savior embraced children and blessed them, in order to show how pleasing to him are the purity and innocence of that age. Truly is he worthy of all praise, who loves to be surrounded by innocent little ones." (St. Ephrem)

"[A]ll should be intimately persuaded that the minds of children are most influenced by the training they receive at home. If in their early years they find within the walls of their homes the rule of an upright life and the discipline of Christian virtues, the future welfare of society will in great measure be guaranteed." (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890)

"Both husband and wife, however, receiving these children with joy and gratitude from the hand of God, will regard them as a talent committed to their charge by God, not only to be employed for their own advantage or for that of an earthly commonwealth, but to be restored to God with interest on the day of reckoning." (Pope Pius XI, "Casti Connubii", 1930)

"As regards children, they ought to submit to the parents and obey them, and give them honor for conscience' sake; while, on the other hand, parents are bound to give all care and watchful thought to the education of their offspring and their virtuous bringing up: 'Fathers,... [bring your children up] in the discipline and correction of the Lord.'" (Pope Leo XIII, "Arcanum", 1880)

"[S]ince the duty entrusted to parents for the good of their children is of such high dignity and of such great importance, every use of the faculty given by God for the procreation of new life is the right and the privilege of the married state alone, by the law of God and of nature, and must be confined absolutely within the sacred limits of that state." (Pope Pius XI, "Casti Connubii", 1930)

"In this connection We cannot pass over in silence the fathers and mothers of families to whom our Savior has entrusted the youngest members of His Mystical Body. We plead with them most earnestly, for the love of Christ and the Church, to take the greatest possible care of the children confided to them, and to protect them from the snares of every kind into which they can be lured so easily today." (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi", 1943)

"Thus the child holds the first place among the blessing of matrimony. Clearly the Creator of the human race Himself, who because of His kindness wished to use men as helpers in propagating life, taught this in Paradise, when He instituted marriage, saying to our first parents, and through them to all spouses: 'Increase and multiply and fill the earth' (Gen. 1:28). This thought St. Augustine very beautifully infers from the words of St. Paul the Apostle to Timothy (1 Tim. 5:14), when he says: 'So the Apostle is witness that marriage is accomplished for the sake of generation. I wish, he says, young girls to marry. And as if someone said to Him: Why? he immediately adds: To bear children, to be mothers of families' (Tim. 5:14). Indeed, Christian parents should further understand that they are destined not only to propagate and to preserve the human race on earth, nay rather, not to raise any kind of worshipers of the true God, but to produce offspring of the Church of Christ; to procreate 'fellow-citizens of the saints and members of God's household' (Eph. 2:19), that the people devoted to the worship of God and our Savior may increase daily. For, even if Christian spouses, although they themselves are sanctified, have not the power to transfuse sanctification into their offspring, surely the natural generation of life has become a way of death, by which original sin passes into the offspring; yet in some manner they share something of that primeval marriage of Paradise, since it is their privilege to offer their own offspring to the Church, so that by this most fruitful mother of the sons of God they may be regenerated through the laver of baptism unto supernatural justice, and become living members of Christ, partakers of immortal life, and, finally, heirs of eternal glory which we all desire with all our heart. . . . But the blessing of offspring is not completed by the good work of procreation; something else must be added which is contained in the dutiful education of the offspring. Surely, the most wise God would have made insufficient provision for the child that is born, and so for the whole human race, unless He had also assigned the right and duty of educating to the same ones to whom He had given the power and right of generating. For it cannot escape anyone that offspring, not only in matters which pertain to the natural life, and much less in those which pertain to the supernatural life, cannot be sufficient unto itself or provide for itself, but is for many years in need of the assistance of others, of care, and of education. But it is certain that, when nature and God bid, this right and duty of educating offspring belongs especially to those who began the work of nature by generating, and they are also absolutely forbidden to expose this work to ruin by leaving it unfinished and imperfect. Surely, the best possible provision has been made in matrimony for this most necessary education of children, in which, since parents are joined to each other by an insoluble bond, there is always at hand the care and mutual assistance of both" (Pius XI, "Casti Connubii", 1930 A.D.)

Also See: Idleness & Young People | Legitimate / Illegitimate Children | Each Child Has a Right to an Education in Harmony With Church Teaching | Family / Families | Fathers / Fatherhood | Mothers / Motherhood | Parental Discipline | Parents / Parenting | Children (Topical Scripture)

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Crucifix in the Home

"Never let your home be without a crucifix upon its walls, to the end that all who enter it may know that you are a disciple of a Crucified Lord, and that you are not ashamed to own it." (St. John Vianney) 

Also See: Decoration of the Home | Sacred Art / Images (Church Talk Reflections) | Cross Vs. Crucifix

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Decoration of the Home

"To decorate the houses with religious pictures is a custom as old as Christianity itself, for the true Christian has always considered his home as nothing less than a Temple of God, and the religious pictures as means to extend and preserve the spirit of Christianity in the home." (St. John Vianney)

"When one loves anyone, it is a great happiness to have something of theirs as a souvenir. If we love our Mother, the Blessed Virgin, we should make it both our duty and privilege to have one of her pictures or statues in our home, which from time to time will remind us of her." (St. John Vianney)

Also See: Crucifix in the Home | Sacred Art / Images (Church Talk Reflections)

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Family / Families

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Fathers / Fatherhood

Also See: Catholic Men (Topic Page)

"The father of a just man will exult with glee; he who begets a wise son will have joy in him." (Prov. 23:24)

"In word and deed honor your father that his blessing may come upon you; For a father's blessing gives a family firm roots, but a mother's curse uproots the growing plant." (Sirach 3:8-9)

"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord." (Eph. 6:4)

"But while honoring our heavenly Father let us honor also the fathers of our flesh: since the Lord Himself hath evidently so appointed in the Law and the Prophets, saying, Honor thy father and thy mother, that it may be well with thee, and thy days shall be long in the land." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church)

"Hear this, ye fathers, bring your children up with great care 'in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.' (Eph. vi. 4.) Youth is wild, and requires many governors, teachers, directors, attendants, and tutors; and after all these, it is a happiness if it be restrained. For as a horse not broken in, or a wild beast untamed, such is youth. But if from the beginning, from the earliest age, we fix it in good rules, much pains will not be required afterwards; for good habits formed will be to them as a law." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Men | Primacy of Husband / Obedience of Wife | Work / Wages [Pg.] | Marriage | Family / Families | Parents / Parenting | Children / Youth | Priests & Vocations Section | Father / fatherhood (Topical Scripture) 

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Femininity & The Virgin Mary

Also See: Blessed Virgin Mary (Topic Page)

"By constantly taking the Motherhood of the most holy Virgin Mary as a model, [girls] should be encouraged to value their femininity." (Pontifical Council for the Family)

Also See: Women / Womanhood | Mothers / Motherhood | Mary, Our Mother Section | Against Women Wearing Men's Clothing | Feminists  

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Fostering Vocations / Vocations in the Family

Also See: Vocations (Topic Page)

"Parents should nurture and protect religious vocations in their children by educating them in Christian virtues." (Second Vatican Council)

"But the first and most natural place where the flowers of the sanctuary should almost spontaneously grow and bloom, remains always the truly and deeply Christian family. Most of the saintly bishops and priests whose 'praise the Church declares,' owe the beginning of their vocation and their holiness to example and teaching of a father strong in faith and manly virtues, of a pure and devoted mother, and of a family in which the love of God and neighbor, joined with simplicity of life, has reigned supreme. To this ordinary rule of divine Providence exceptions are rare and only serve to prove the rule." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Catholici Sacerdotii", 1935)

"Blessed are those Christian parents who are able to accept without fear the vocations of their sons, and see in them a signal honor for their family and a mark of the special love and providence of Our Lord. Still more blessed, if, as was often the case in ages of greater faith, they make such divine visitations the object of their earnest prayer. Yet it must be confessed with sadness that only too often parents seem to be unable to resign themselves to the priestly or religious vocations of their children. Such parents have no scruple in opposing the divine call with objections of all kinds; they even have recourse to means which can imperil not only the vocation to a more perfect state, but also the very conscience and the eternal salvation of those souls they ought to hold so dear." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Catholici Sacerdotii", 1935 A.D.)

"The lack of vocations in families of the middle and upper classes may be partly explained by the dissipations of modern life, the seductions, which especially in the larger cities, prematurely awaken the passions of youth; the schools in many places which scarcely conduce to the development of vocations. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that such a scarcity reveals a deplorable falling off of faith in the families themselves. Did they indeed look at things in the light of faith, what greater dignity could Christian parents desire for their sons, what ministry more noble, than that which, as We have said, is worthy of the veneration of men and angels? A long and sad experience has shown that a vocation betrayed - the word is not to be thought too strong - is a source of tears not only for the sons but also for the ill-advised parents; and God grant that such tears be not so long delayed as to become eternal tears." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Catholici Sacerdotii", 1935)

Also See: Priests & Vocations Section

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An Ideal Home

"In an ideal home the parents, like Tobias and Sara, beg of God a numerous posterity 'in which Thy name may be blessed forever,' and receive it as a gift from heaven and a precious trust; they strive to instill into their children from their early years a holy fear of God, and true Christian piety; they foster a tender devotion to Jesus, the Blessed Sacrament and the Immaculate Virgin; they teach respect and veneration for holy places and persons. In such a home the children see in their parents a model of an upright, industrious and pious life; they see their parents holily loving each other in Our Lord, see them approach the Holy Sacraments frequently and not only obey the laws of the Church concerning abstinence and fasting, but also observe the spirit of voluntary Christian mortification; they see them pray at home, gathering around them all the family, that common prayer may rise more acceptably to heaven; they find them compassionate towards the distress of others and see them divide with the poor the much or the little they possess." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Catholici Sacerdotii", 1935)

Also See: Holy Family (Prayer) | Marriage | Parents / Parenting | Family / Families

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Idleness & Young People

"The principal trap that the Devil sets for young people is idleness. This is a fatal source of all evil. Don't let there be any doubt in your mind that man is born to work, and when he doesn't do so, he's out of his element and in great danger of offending God." (St. John Bosco)

Also See: Children / Youth | Parents / Parenting

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Legitimate / Illegitimate Children 

"Can. 1114 Those children are legitimate who are conceived or born of a valid or putative marriage unless the parents, because of a solemn religious profession or the taking up of sacred orders, had been, at the time of conception, prohibited from using the marriage contracted earlier." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1116 By the subsequent marriage of the parents, whether true or putative, whether newly contracted or convalidated, even if it is not consummated, children are legitimated, provided the parents were capable of contracting marriage between themselves at the time of conception, or impregnation, or birth" (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1137 Children who are conceived or born of a valid or of a putative marriage are legitimate." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1138 §1 The father is he whom a lawful marriage indicates unless clear evidence proves the contrary. §2 Children born at least 180 days after the day when the marriage was celebrated or within 300 days from the day of the dissolution of conjugal life are presumed to be legitimate." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1139 Illegitimate children are legitimated by the subsequent valid or putative marriage of their parents or by a rescript of the Holy See." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1140 As regards canonical effects, legitimated children are equal in all things to legitimate ones unless the law has expressly provided otherwise." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Illegitimate is that which is against the law. Now those who are born out of wedlock are born contrary to the law. Therefore they are illegitimate." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Wherefore I beseech you flee fornication, and the mother of it, drunkenness. Why sow where reaping is impossible, or rather even if thou dost reap, the fruit brings thee great shame? For even if a child be born, it at once disgraces thyself, and has itself had injustice done it in being born through thee illegitimate and base." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"[W]e do not say that a person is punished by not succeeding to the throne through not being the king's son. In like manner it is no punishment to an illegitimate child that he has no right to that which belongs to the legitimate children." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Although those who are born of an unlawful intercourse are born according to the nature common to man and all animals, they are born contrary to the law of nature which is proper to man: since fornication, adultery, and the like are contrary to the law of nature. Hence the like are not legitimate by any law." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Illegitimate intercourse is contrary to the law, not as an act of the generative power, but as proceeding from a wicked will. Hence an illegitimate son incurs a loss, not in those things which come to him by his natural origin, but in those things which are dependent on the will for being done or possessed." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Illegitimate birth is an impediment to the reception of [Holy] orders, and inhibits the exercise of the functions of orders already received. It is a canonical impediment, because established and laid down in the canon law as a hindrance to entering the clerical state. This prohibition does not tough the validity of orders, but makes the reception of them illicit... This law is not established and laid down as a punishment for the person to whom it is applied. It safeguards the honor and dignity of Holy orders. The clerical state which has the dispensing of the mysteries of God must be beyond reproach. No stain should be upon it, no blame possible. Therefore the Church raises the barrier of illegitimacy before the entrance to the priesthood. Thus the crime of the parents is held up to just reprobation, and is condemned even in the lives of their offspring... The defect of illegitimate birth may be cured in four ways: (1) By the subsequent (licit) marriage of the parents; (2) By a rescript of the pope; (2) By religious profession; (4) By a dispensation." (Catholic Encyclopedia)

"An illegitimate child can be legitimized, not so that he be born of a legitimate intercourse, because this intercourse is a thing of the past and can never be legitimized from the moment that it was once illegitimate. But the child is said to be legitimized, in so far as the losses which an illegitimate child ought to incur are withdrawn by the authority of the law." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Children are of four conditions. Some are natural and legitimate, for instance those who are born of a true and lawful marriage; some are natural and illegitimate, as those who are born of fornication; some are legitimate and not natural, as adopted children; some are neither legitimate nor natural; such are those born of adultery or incest, for these are born not only against the positive law, but against the express natural law." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"If any persons presume to enter into clandestine marriages of this kind, or forbidden marriages within a prohibited degree, even if done in ignorance, the offspring of the union shall be deemed illegitimate and shall have no help from their parents' ignorance, since the parents in contracting the marriage could be considered as not devoid of knowledge, or even as affecters of ignorance. Likewise the offspring shall be deemed illegitimate if both parents know of a legitimate impediment and yet dare to contract a marriage in the presence of the church, contrary to every prohibition." (Fourth Lateran Council)

"In fact, natural law and positive divine law demand that procreated new life be the fruit of marriage alone. Only marriage guards the dignity of spouses (especially of the wife, as far as this question is concerned), and their personal good. Only marriage of itself provides for the good and education of the child. Therefore, it follows that there can be no divergence of opinion among Catholics in condemning artificial fertilization outside the conjugal union. Offspring conceived in such a manner would be by the very fact illegitimate." (Pope Pius XII, 1949)

Also See: Fornication | Living Together Without the Sacrament of Matrimony | Sin & Vice [Pg.] | Children / Youth | Marital Relations | Marriage

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Marital Relations

Also See: Marriage (Topic Page)

"The husband should fulfill his duty toward his wife, and likewise the wife toward her husband... Do not deprive each other, except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, to be free for prayer, but then return to one another, so that Satan may not tempt you through your lack of self-control." (1 Cor. 7:3,5)

"Can. 1128 Spouses must preserve the communion of conjugal life, unless a just cause excuses them." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1111 To each spouse from the very beginning of the marriage there is an equal right and duty in what pertains to acts proper to the conjugal life." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"[E]very use of the faculty given by God for the procreation of new life is the right and the privilege of the married state alone, by the law of God and of nature, and must be confined absolutely within the sacred limits of that state." (Pope Pius XI, "Casti Connubii", 1930)

"One of the fundamental demands of the true moral order is that to the use of the marriage rights there corresponds the sincere internal acceptance of the function and duties of motherhood. With this condition the woman walks in the path traced out by the Creator towards the goal which He has assigned His creature; He makes her, by the exercise of this function, partaker of His goodness, wisdom and omnipotence, according to the Angel's message: 'Concipies in utero et paries-you will conceive and bear forth a child'." (Pope Pius XII, Address to Midwives)

"Nor did Christ Our Lord wish only to condemn any form of polygamy or polyandry, as they are called, whether successive or simultaneous, and every other external dishonorable act, but, in order that the sacred bonds of marriage may be guarded absolutely inviolate, He forbade also even willful thoughts and desires of such like things: 'But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her hath already committed adultery with her in his heart.' Which words of Christ Our Lord cannot be annulled even by the consent of one of the partners of marriage for they express a law of God and of nature which no will of man can break or bend." (Pope Pius XI, "Casti Connubii", 1930)

"Nevertheless, here also, husband and wife must know how to keep themselves within the limits of a just moderation. As with the pleasure of food and drink so with the sexual they must not abandon themselves without restraint to the impulses of the senses. The right rule is this: the use of the natural procreative disposition is morally lawful in matrimony only, in the service of and in accordance with the ends of marriage itself. Hence it follows that only in marriage with the observing of this rule is the desire and fruition of this pleasure and of this satisfaction lawful. For the pleasure is subordinate to the law of the action whence it derives, and not vice versa - the action to the law of pleasure. And this law, so very reasonable, concerns not only the substance but also the circumstances of the action, so that, even when the substance of the act remains morally safe, it is possible to sin in the way it is performed....No; the gravity and sanctity of the Christian moral law do not admit an unchecked satisfaction of the sexual instinct tending only to pleasure and enjoyment; they do not permit rational man to let himself be mastered to such an extent, neither as regards the substance nor the circumstances of the act....nature has given, truly, the instinctive desire for pleasure and sanctions it in the lawful marriage, not as an end in itself, but rather for the service of life. Banish from your heart that cult of pleasure" (Pope Pius XII, Address to Midwives)

Also See: Marriage | Family / Families | Fathers / Fatherhood | Mothers / Motherhood | Children / Youth | Legitimate / Illegitimate Children | Marriage Not Equal to Virginity | Birth Control / Contraception

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Marital Separation

Also See: Marriage (Topic Page)

Note: Marital separation does NOT  mean that the couple may be granted a divorce or that remarriage is allowed. It is important to note that "A ratified and consummated valid marriage can be dissolved by no human power and for no cause, outside of death" (1917 Code of Canon Law, cf. 1983 Code of Canon Law Can.1141). For more information, click here

"When, indeed, matters have come to such a pitch that it seems impossible for them to live together any longer, then the Church allows them to live apart, and strives at the same time to soften the evils of this separation by such remedies and helps as are suited to their condition; yet she never ceases to endeavor to bring about a reconciliation, and never despairs of doing so. But these are extreme cases; and they would seldom exist if men and women entered into the married state with proper dispositions, not influenced by passion, but entertaining right ideas of the duties of marriage and of its noble purpose; neither would they anticipate their marriage by a series of sins drawing down upon them the wrath of God." (Pope Leo XIII, "Arcanum", 1880)

"Can. 1131 § 1 If one spouse gives his name to a non-Catholic sect; if he raises the children non-Catholic; if he leads a criminal or disgraceful life; or if one creates grave danger to the soul or body of the other; if by cruelty, one renders common life too difficult; these reasons and others of their sort are for the other spouse completely legitimate reasons for leaving, with the authority of the local Ordinary, or even on [the spouse's] own authority if these things appear certain and there is danger in delay. § 2 In all such cases, the cause of the separation ceasing, life together is to be restored; but if the separation was decided by the Ordinary for a certain or uncertain time, the innocent spouse is not bound [to return] except by decree of the Ordinary or upon the completion of the same." (1917 Code of Canon Law) [Note: Of course, the above refers to a physical separation of the spouses. Remarriage of either spouse is not allowed prior to the death of the other spouse.]

Also See: Separation (Marital) (Sacraments Reflections) | Marriage | Against Divorce & 'Remarriage'

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Marriage

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Marriage Not Equal to Virginity

"Both solid reason and the authority of Holy Writ show that neither is marriage sinful, nor is it to be equaled to the good of virginal continence or even to that of widowhood." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Marriage | Virginity | Priests & Vocations Section

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Marriage Not Recommended for All

Also See: Marriage (Topic Page)

"The marriage bond is to be avoided at all costs by those tending to perfection, because this bond entangles a person in worldly cares." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"How great are the misfortunes peculiar to marriage! How many and how severe its humiliations! How numerous its chains!" (St. Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church, c. 393 A.D.)

Also See: Marriage | Marriage Not Equal to Virginity | Priests & Vocations Section

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Matrimony (Sacraments Reflections)

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Men

Also See: Catholic Men (Topic Page)

"Then God said: 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.'" (Gen. 1:26)

"At the time when the LORD God made the earth and the heavens - while as yet there was no field shrub on earth and no grass of the field had sprouted, for the LORD God had sent no rain upon the earth and there was no man to till the soil, but a stream was welling up out of the earth and was watering all the surface of the ground - the LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being. Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and he placed there the man whom he had formed." (Gen. 2:4-8) 

"Do not rebuke an older man, but appeal to him as a father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters with complete purity." (1 Tm. 5:1-2)

"As for yourself, you must say what is consistent with sound doctrine, namely, that older men should be temperate, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, love, and endurance." (Ti 2:1-2)

"Now, just as it belongs to the woman to be subject to her husband in matters relating to the family life, so it belongs to the husband to provide the necessaries of that life. In this respect he was punished in three ways. First, by the barrenness of the earth, in the words (Genesis 3:17), 'Cursed is the earth in thy work.' Secondly, by the cares of his toil, without which he does not win the fruits of the earth; hence the words (Genesis 3:17), 'With labor and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life.' Thirdly, by the obstacles encountered by the tillers of the soil, wherefore it is written (Genesis 3:18), 'Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Fathers / Fatherhood | Primacy of Husband / Obedience of Wife | Parents / Parenting | Work / Wages [Pg.] | Man (Topical Scripture)

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Mixed Marriage

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Mothers / Motherhood

Also See: Catholic Women (Topic Page)

"For the LORD sets a father in honor over his children; a mother's authority he confirms over her sons." (Sirach 3:2)

"He who honors his father atones for sins; he stores up riches who reveres his mother." (Sirach 3:3-4)

"With your whole heart honor your father; your mother's birthpangs forget not. Remember, of these parents you were born; what can you give them for all they gave you?" (Sirach 7:27-28)

"Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you." (Isa. 49:15)

"When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son.' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother.' And from that hour the disciple took her into his home." (Jn. 19:26-27)

"Similarly, (too,) women should adorn themselves with proper conduct, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hairstyles and gold ornaments, or pearls, or expensive clothes, but rather, as befits women who profess reverence for God, with good deeds. A woman must receive instruction silently and under complete control. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. Further, Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed. But she will be saved through motherhood, provided women persevere in faith and love and holiness, with self-control." (St. Paul, 1 Tm. 2:9-15)

"The first and most basic relationship which any human being establishes with a woman is precisely the relationship of the child to its mother...Our mother is the woman to whom we owe our life." (Pope John Paul II)

"Society is suffering acutely because of the lack of truly Christian mothers. Since society is based on the family, its very shape and fate is largely in the hands of women." (St. Placid Riccardi)

"It is an intolerable abuse, and to be abolished at all cost, for mothers on account of the father's low wage to be forced to engage in gainful occupations outside the home to the neglect of their proper cares and duties, especially the training of children." (Pope Pius XI, "Quadragesimo Anno", 1931)

"Did not the Heavenly Father, then, abandon Augustine to his own devices, that Monica might ply Him with tearful entreaties and serve as a type of those mothers, who by their long-suffering and gentleness of temper, by their tireless supplication of the divine mercy, succeed at length in winning back their sons to virtue? 'For it was impossible that the son would perish, for whom so many tears were shed.'" (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Salutem", 1930)

"The most important person on earth is a mother. She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral - a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby's body.. The angels have not been blessed with such a grace. They cannot share in God's creative miracle to bring new saints to Heaven...What on God's good earth is more glorious than this: to be a mother?" (Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty)

"O Christian mothers, if you knew what a future of anxieties and perils, of ill-guarded shame you prepare for your sons and daughters, imprudently getting them accustomed to live scantly dressed and making them lose the sense of modesty, you would be ashamed of yourselves and you would dread the harm you are making for yourselves, the harm which you are causing these children, whom Heaven has entrusted to you to be brought up as Christians." (Pope Pius XII)

"How many of us also owe to our mothers our very vocation to the priesthood! Experience shows that very often it is the mother who for years nurtures in her own heart a desire for a priestly vocation for her son, and obtains it by praying with persevering trust and deep humility. Thus, without imposing her own will, she favors with the effectiveness typical of faith the blossoming of an aspiration to the priesthood in the soul of her son, an aspiration which will bear fruit in due season." (Pope John Paul II)

"Part of this daily heroism is also the silent but effective and eloquent witness of all those 'brave mothers who devote themselves to their own family without reserve, who suffer in giving birth to their children and who are ready to make any effort, to face any sacrifice, in order to pass on to them the best of themselves'. In living out their mission these heroic women do not always find support in the world around them. On the contrary, the cultural models frequently promoted and broadcast by the media do not encourage motherhood. In the name of progress and modernity the values of fidelity, chastity, sacrifice, to which a host of Christian wives and mothers have borne and continue to bear outstanding witness, are presented as obsolete ... We thank you, heroic mothers, for your invincible love! We thank you for your intrepid trust in God and in his love. We thank you for the sacrifice of your life" (Pope John Paul II)

Also See: Marriage | Parents / Parenting | Family / Families | Children / Youth | Femininity & The Virgin Mary | Women / Womanhood | Women's Work in the Home | Primacy of Husband / Obedience of Wife | Mothers (Topical Scripture)

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Parental Discipline

Note: The reader is reminded that discipline of children should obviously be done within reason. One should not abuse children.

"A wise son loves correction, but the senseless one heeds no rebuke." (Prov. 13:1)

"He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him takes care to chastise him." (Prov. 13:24)

"Train a boy in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not swerve from it." (Prov. 22:6)

"Withhold not chastisement from a boy; if you beat him with the rod, he will not die. Beat him with the rod, and you will save him from the nether world." (Prov. 23:13-14)

"The rod of correction gives wisdom, but a boy left to his whims disgraces his mother." (Prov. 29:15)

"Correct your son, and he will bring you comfort, and give delight to your soul." (Prov. 29:17)

"If you have sons, chastise them; bend their necks from childhood." (Sirach 7:23)

"If you have daughters, keep them chaste, and be not indulgent to them." (Sirach 7:24)

"An unruly child is a disgrace to its father; if it be a daughter she brings him to poverty." (Sirach 22:3)

"He who loves his son chastises him often, that he may be his joy when he grows up." (Sirach 30:1)

"He who spoils his son will have wounds to bandage, and will quake inwardly at every outcry. A colt untamed turns out stubborn; a son left to himself grows up unruly. Pamper your child and he will be a terror for you, indulge him and he will bring you grief. Share not in his frivolity lest you share in his sorrow, when finally your teeth are clenched in remorse. Give him not his own way in his youth, and close not your eyes to his follies. Bend him to the yoke when he is young, thrash his sides while he is still small, Lest he become stubborn, disobey you, and leave you disconsolate. Discipline your son, make heavy his yoke, lest his folly humiliate you." (Sirach 30:7-13)

"For a child, if left to his own will, becomes more self-willed: hence it is written (Ecclesiasticus 30:8): 'A horse not broken becometh stubborn, and a child left to himself will become headstrong.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"And so it is just as if the father of a poor cold-blooded child (already, more delicate than it ought to be), should, although it is so feeble, give it cake and cold (drink) and whatever only pleases the child, and take no account of what might do it good; and then, being reproved by the physicians, should excuse himself by saying, 'What can I do? I cannot bear to see the child crying.' Thou poor, wretched creature, thou betrayer! for I cannot, call such a one a father: how much better were it for thee, by paining him for a short time, to restore him to health forever, than to make this short-lived pleasure the foundation of a lasting sorrow?" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"[T]he all too common relaxation of parental discipline... fails to check the growth of evil passions in the hearts of the younger generation. Parents therefore, and all who take their place in the work of education, should be careful to make right use of the authority given them by God, whose vicars in a true sense they are. This authority is not given for their own advantage, but for the proper upbringing of their children in a holy and filial 'fear of God, the beginning of wisdom,' on which foundation alone all respect for authority can rest securely; and without which, order, tranquility and prosperity, whether in the family or in society, will be impossible." (Pope Pius XI, "Divini Illius Magistri", 1929)

Also See: Correction / Rebuke | Fathers / Fatherhood | Mothers / Motherhood | Parents / Parenting | Marriage | Children / Youth | Discipline (Topical Scripture)

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Parents / Parenting 

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Primacy of Husband / Obedience of Wife 

Also See: Marriage (Topic Page)

"To the woman also [God] said: I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husband's power, and he shall have dominion over thee." (Gen. 3:16) [Note: Douay Rheims translation. Modern translation says "and he (your husband) shall be your master"]

"But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and a husband the head of his wife, and God the head of Christ." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 11:3) 

"Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of the body. As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything." (St. Paul, Eph. 5:22-24)

"Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord." (St. Paul, Col. 3:18)

"Likewise, you wives should be subordinate to your husbands so that, even if some disobey the word, they may be won over without a word by their wives' conduct when they observe your reverent and chaste behavior." (St. Peter, 1 Pt. 3:1-2)

"A household cannot be a democracy, ruled by everyone, but the authority must necessarily rest in one person." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Wherefore, as the Apostle has it, as Christ is the head of the Church, so is the man the head of the woman; and as the Church is subject to Christ, who embraces her with a most chaste and undying love, so also should wives be subject to their husbands, and be loved by them in turn with a faithful and constant affection." (Pope Leo XIII, "Quod Apostolici Muneris", 1878)

"The husband is the chief of the family and the head of the wife. The woman, because she is flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone, must be subject to her husband and obey him; not, indeed, as a servant, but as a companion, so that her obedience shall be wanting in neither honor nor dignity. Since the husband represents Christ, and since the wife represents the Church, let there always be, both in him who commands and in her who obeys, a heaven-born love guiding both in their respective duties. For 'the husband is the head of the wife; as Christ is the head of the Church...Therefore, as the Church is subject to Christ, so also let wives be to their husbands in all things.'" (Pope Leo XIII, "Arcanum", 1880)

"The same false teachers who try to dim the luster of conjugal faith and purity do not scruple to do away with the honorable and trusting obedience which the woman owes to the man. Many of them even go further and assert that such a subjection of one party to the other is unworthy of human dignity, that the rights of husband and wife are equal; wherefore, they boldly proclaim the emancipation of women has been or ought to be effected. This emancipation in their ideas must be threefold, in the ruling of the domestic society, in the administration of family affairs and in the rearing of the children. It must be social, economic, physiological: - physiological, that is to say, the woman is to be freed at her own good pleasure from the burdensome duties properly belonging to a wife as companion and mother (We have already said that this is not an emancipation but a crime); social, inasmuch as the wife being freed from the cares of children and family, should, to the neglect of these, be able to follow her own bent and devote herself to business and even public affairs; finally economic, whereby the woman even without the knowledge and against the wish of her husband may be at liberty to conduct and administer her own affairs, giving her attention chiefly to these rather than to children, husband and family. This, however, is not the true emancipation of woman, nor that rational and exalted liberty which belongs to the noble office of a Christian woman and wife; it is rather the debasing of the womanly character and the dignity of motherhood, and indeed of the whole family, as a result of which the husband suffers the loss of his wife, the children of their mother, and the home and the whole family of an ever watchful guardian. More than this, this false liberty and unnatural equality with the husband is to the detriment of the woman herself, for if the woman descends from her truly regal throne to which she has been raised within the walls of the home by means of the Gospel, she will soon be reduced to the old state of slavery (if not in appearance, certainly in reality) and become as amongst the pagans the mere instrument of man. This equality of rights which is so much exaggerated and distorted, must indeed be recognized in those rights which belong to the dignity of the human soul and which are proper to the marriage contract and inseparably bound up with wedlock. In such things undoubtedly both parties enjoy the same rights and are bound by the same obligations; in other things there must be a certain inequality and due accommodation, which is demanded by the good of the family and the right ordering and unity and stability of home life." (Pope Pius XI, "Casti Connubii", 1930 A.D.) 

"Domestic society being confirmed, therefore, by this bond of love, there should flourish in it that 'order of love,' as St. Augustine calls it. This order includes both the primacy of the husband with regard to the wife and children, the ready subjection of the wife and her willing obedience, which the Apostle commends in these words: 'Let women be subject to their husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ is the head of the Church.' This subjection, however, does not deny or take away the liberty which fully belongs to the woman both in view of her dignity as a human person, and in view of her most noble office as wife and mother and companion; nor does it bid her obey her husband's every request if not in harmony with right reason or with the dignity due to wife; nor, in fine, does it imply that the wife should be put on a level with those persons who in law are called minors, to whom it is customary not to allow free exercise of their rights on account of their lack of mature judgment, or of their ignorance of human affairs. But it forbids that exaggerated liberty which cares not for the good of the family; it forbids that in this body which is the family, the heart be separated from the head to the great detriment of the whole body and the proximate danger of ruin. For if the man is the head, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love. Again, this subjection of wife to husband in its degree and manner may vary according to the different conditions of persons, place and time. In fact, if the husband neglect his duty, it falls to the wife to take his place in directing the family. But the structure of the family and its fundamental law, established and confirmed by God, must always and everywhere be maintained intact. With great wisdom Our predecessor Leo XIII, of happy memory, in the Encyclical on Christian marriage which We have already mentioned, speaking of this order to be maintained between man and wife, teaches: 'The man is the ruler of the family, and the head of the woman; but because she is flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone, let her be subject and obedient to the man, not as a servant but as a companion, so that nothing be lacking of honor or of dignity in the obedience which she pays. Let divine charity be the constant guide of their mutual relations, both in him who rules and in her who obeys, since each bears the image, the one of Christ, the other of the Church.'" (Pius XI, "Casti Connubii", 1930 A.D.)

Also See: Men | Women / Womanhood | Marriage | Obedience / Disobedience | Women's Work in the Home | Women in a State of Subjection? (flier)

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Sterility is Not an Impediment to Marriage

Also See: Marriage (Topic Page)

"Can. 1068 § 3 Sterility neither impedes nor [renders illicit] marriage." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

Also See: Marriage

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Women / Womanhood

Also See: Catholic Women (Topic Page)

"So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The LORD God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, the man said: 'This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called 'woman,' for out of 'her man' this one has been taken.'" (Gen. 2:21-23)

"Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the LORD God had made. The serpent asked the woman, 'Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?' The woman answered the serpent: 'We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, 'You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.'' But the serpent said to the woman: 'You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad.' The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it." (Gen. 3:1-6)

"A gracious woman wins esteem, but she who hates virtue is covered with shame." (Prov. 11:16)

"Like a golden ring in a swine's snout is a beautiful woman with a rebellious disposition." (Prov. 11:22)

"Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." (Prov. 31:30)

"In woman was sin's beginning, and because of her we all die." (Sirach 25:23)

"For just as moths come from garments, so harm to women comes from women" (Sirach 42:13)

"But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and a husband the head of his wife, and God the head of Christ. Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered brings shame upon his head. But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame upon her head, for it is one and the same thing as if she had had her head shaved. For if a woman does not have her head veiled, she may as well have her hair cut off. But if it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should wear a veil. A man, on the other hand, should not cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; nor was man created for woman, but woman for man; for this reason a woman should have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels. Woman is not independent of man or man of woman in the Lord. For just as woman came from man, so man is born of woman; but all things are from God. Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head unveiled? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears his hair long it is a disgrace to him, whereas if a woman has long hair it is her glory, because long hair has been given (her) for a covering? But if anyone is inclined to be argumentative, we do not have such a custom, nor do the churches of God." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 11:3-16)

"As in all the churches of the holy ones, women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. But if they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home. For it is improper for a woman to speak in the church." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 14:33-35)

"Similarly, (too,) women should adorn themselves with proper conduct, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hairstyles and gold ornaments, or pearls, or expensive clothes, but rather, as befits women who profess reverence for God, with good deeds. A woman must receive instruction silently and under complete control. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. Further, Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed. But she will be saved through motherhood, provided women persevere in faith and love and holiness, with self-control." (St. Paul, 1 Tm. 2:9-15)

"Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to drink, teaching what is good, so that they may train younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers, under the control of their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited." (St. Paul, Ti. 2:3-5)

"It is a sorrow and a shame to have to mention and confess that even among Catholics, false doctrines on the dignity of woman, on marriage and the family, on conjugal fidelity and divorce, even on life and death, have stealthily infiltrated souls, and like gnawing worms have attacked the roots of the Christian family and of the Christian ideals of womanhood." (Pope Pius XII)

"We must not forget that the making of a home in which all feel at ease and happy, and the bringing up of children are very special contributions to the common welfare." (Pope Pius XII)

"[W]oman was made chiefly in order to be man's helpmate in relation to the offspring, whereas the man was not made for this purpose. Wherefore the mother has a closer relation to the nature of marriage than the father has." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"The figure of woman as sister has considerable importance in our Christian civilization, in which countless women have become sisters to everyone, thanks to their exemplary attitude towards their neighbor, especially to those most in need. A 'sister' is a guarantee of selflessness: in the school, in the hospital, in prison and in other areas of social service. When a woman remains single, in her 'gift of self as sister' by means of apostolic commitment or generous dedication to neighbor, she develops a particular spiritual motherhood. This selfless gift of femininity 'as sister' lights up human existence, evokes the best sentiments of which human beings are capable and always leaves behind gratitude for the good freely offered." (Pope John Paul II)

"Precisely because you intend to battle the anti-Christian forces which are 'totalitarian,' the first condition is to oppose them by carrying out in your life the law of God spontaneously, joyously, and fully accepted. To take this law lightly, would be a confession of a deplorable frivolity and a fatal instability. Do not forget it: - We now address those who because of their age and social environment are more especially exposed to these dangers - no matter how well intentioned you may be, you share like others the weakness of a fallen nature. Satan does not accept defeat: as in Eden, he continues to cajole woman to her downfall, playing upon her nature to seduce her. You know the world of today well enough, dear daughters, to realize that you yourselves who live in it, need strength and courage at each step, to triumph over the temptations and seductions of your own tendencies by an energetic 'No!' But how can you say this 'no' and repeat it tirelessly, unless you understand and humbly recognize, in the presence of God, that as human creatures you are powerless and need the grace of God. Now you cannot expect to obtain this grace without prayer and sacrifice." (Pope Pius XII)

Also See: Femininity & The Virgin Mary | Chastity | Modesty/Proper Dress [Pg.] | Virginity | Mothers / Motherhood | Feminists | Marriage | Women's Work in the Home | Primacy of Husband / Obedience of Wife | Parents / Parenting | Woman (Topical Scripture)

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