We hade the opportunity this afternoon — one day short of our 6 month wedding anniversary— to observe WMD 2010 with the Eucharist celebrated by Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore City. Archbishop O’Brien’s encouraging letter to married couples (February 14, 2010) reads in part…
God has given married love a great dignity, making it a sacramental sign of Christ’s loving union with the Church. Your witness as married couples is important, especially in the face of threats to the sanctity of marriage and family life so common in our society today.”
The “threats” to marriage and family life today are both ideological and personal. Among the “threats” for baptized Christians, in particular, is not understanding the nature of marriage, in particular that Jesus Christ, God-become-man, elevating natural marriage to a sacrament.
—Edwin F. O’Brien, Archbishop of Baltimore
The Church has given special attention two kinds of public vows, those of matrimony and those of consecrated life. The vows of matrimony forms a freely chosen covenant between partners by which in an exclusive and permanent commitment they surrender their persons to each other to express in the manner intended by the Creator that fruitful love for which he distinguished human beings as male and female (Genesis 1-2).
Thus marriage pertains to the order of creation and the natural law, but Christ has elevated it for the baptized to a sacrament symbolizing his faithful love for his Church (Ephesians 5:21-33). As such it fulfills in a special way for earthly existence the baptismal covenant of the members of the Church with Christ which alone will remain forever in the Kingdom.
(Living the Truth in Love by Benedict M. Ashley, O.P. (2004))