Deus Meus et Omnia My God and My All.
In the peace of His Majesty, our Lord Jesus. The sandy beaches of Florida saw some of the earliest Masses celebrated in the history of the United States, along with the earliest Christian settlements and though the English wiped away most of the Spanish presence, Florida is still riddled with historical jewels. Yet, in all its spiritual and historical significance, the sandy beaches of Florida have an even greater spiritual and historical significance to me, it’s where God led me to meet my wife. As we celebrated the feast of St. Valentine, the Holy Martyr who shed his blood defending the rights of Holy Matrimony, I think it's appropriate to spend some time in recollection on the grand topic of Holy Matrimony. Holy Matrimony is a Holy thing. Though it remains below consecrated virginity, it still remains a Holy. Holiness cannot be emphasized enough within Christian Marriage. His Majesty’s first public miracle was at a marriage feast. His Majesty attended weddings. His majesty took the feast of marriage as an important matter. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee; and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him (John 2:11). Of marriage, His Majesty, our Lord Jesus taught this: Have ye not read, that He who made man from the beginning, made them male and female? And He said: For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder (Matthew 19:4-6). The Holy Sacrament of Matrimony is so much more than natural marriage. Holy Matrimony is an icon of God Himself. We find the ancient Church Father John Chrysostom teaching this in regard to Holy Matrimony: When husband and wife are united in marriage, they no longer seem like something earthly, but rather like the image of God Himself. God created out of love, man and woman unite into one union and create out of love for each other. No wonder Communists and Freemasons hate Holy Matrimony. The Iconography of marriage is one topic of meditation, but for the Love of God, I wish to bring another. The Christain law is the law of Love, no not the silly modern notion of love that is rooted in self but in the genuine sacrifice oneself for the love of another. [Charity] seeketh not her own (1 Corithians 13:5). The Divine Master, the Lord Jesus taught us the greatest commandment: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (Matthew 22:16-39). Love remains the greatest virtue and the most important aspect of the Greatest law. No Christian can be saved without love. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing (1 Corinthians 13: 2-3). Now our Blessed Lord, at the First Holy Mass left us this: A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you (John 13:24). This speaks to the entirety of Christians and ought to speak directly to the married. All Christians ought to love one another as Christ loves them. When we look to the dignity of another's Personhood, we are called to love thy neighbour as thyself (Matthew 22:39). But when we look at the dignity of a Baptized soul, we are called to follow His Commandant: that you love one another, as I have loved you (John 15:12). In Holy Matrimony we see both of these Commands, to love the Personhood and the soul of our spouse. At the same time this Love is Christian Love, a total surrender of oneself to the other for the Love of God. Let the husband render the debt to his wife, and the wife also in like manner to the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband. And in like manner the husband also hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud not one another (1 Corinthians 7:3-4) This surrender of Holy Matrimony is the essence of the Christiaan life, a life of sacrifice for the love of God and being disposed to be perfected by will of God, which is the spouse. The love of Holy Matrimony is that one spouse would surrender their life out of love of their spouse and in union with the will of God. Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13). Marriage is a natural act, what makes the sacrament is when the two betrothed souls come before the Holy Altar and His Holy priest, to profess vows before God to each other. They come into the presence of Christ, His Holy Mother, and All the saints. The mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the marriage (John 2:1-2). Then immediately after this solemn exchange of Vows, the two now united as one kneel before the Altar and they witness the Holy Mass. The most intimate act the married can do, receiving the Blessed Sacrament together, occurs before all those invited. They both come into the Church, and they leave as one. As religious are bound to their brethren within the order, so too are the married bound to each other in Holy Matrimony. A woman is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth (1 Corinthians 7:29). To posses a creative power, to have children, then to possess a societal power, which is to raise Children. fathers, provoke not your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and correction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). As the world seemingly desires to pull away this Holy Feast of St. valentine, let us instead spend more time in reflection of this Holy Sacrament, which is an icon of Christ’s sacrifice and s pillar of Christian society. Being subject one to another, in the fear of Christ. Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord: Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. He is the saviour of His body. Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered Himself up for it: That He might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life: That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish. So also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also Christ doth the church: Because we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh. This is a great sacrament; but I speak in Christ and in the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular love his wife as himself: and let the wife fear her husband (Ephesians 5:21-31).