What is a Catholic Marriage? A Bar Too High? VII

Helps Understand God’s Authority

Logically too, for anybody who believes in a personal God, there has to be a strong recognition of and example of authority in the family, if all concerned are to understand the authority of God. It is necessary for the father of a family to know he has authority and use it, if he is to recognize God’s authority over him. It is necessary for the wife to recognize and submit to the husband’s authority, if she is to understand God’s authority over her. It is necessary for the children to have an observable model of authority used and heeded, and to follow it themselves, if they are to be truly submissive to God. Where the authority is over-exercised or mean, children will tend to fear or rebel against God. Where it is under exercised, they will tend to have a sentimental, buddy-buddy relationship with God and minimize his laws.

The end result for all concerned will be a loss of happiness. Happiness comes from keeping the right order of things as ordained by God, just as health comes from keeping a right order of many parts in the body and a correct balance of emotion and the spiritual side of a person. Order is heaven’s first law. Disorder means trouble, loss of smoothness, loss of function. This applies to an automobile engine and to a human body. It applies more to relationships between persons, and most especially of all, to creature-persons to their creator-Person.[1]

Obvious to anyone with eyes so over gone overboard untenable sentimentally to God no matter what we do. Buddy- buddy relationship. Untenable. Friction keeps it interesting. Habituated to good is not boring. Also gives passion to a marriage, marriage just platitudes becomes boring. Tame God? Aslan my heavens no. Who wants a tame or eunuchs God. Haven’t seen in their parents marriage nothing to submit to.

In droves they submit to the state, need for right authority don’t find it in a respectful dignity of persons get it from jack booted thugs.

  1. Tithing very brief remark

First Disagreement between God’s People Cain & Able

Observation this is a distinctive feature of successful Catholic marriages.

Tithing is both a practical (reason) & spiritual reliance on God

Budget is required to tithe. Spiritual, 10 % at the beginning month is trust in God. Malachi 3, test God’s generosity.

God not generosity cannot see God’s generosity.

Profundity of awe that they can beget new life. A power don’t want and sterilize it. To bring forth new generations.

Couples to life, open handed to money. Closed to children, stingy with cash.

Both are paucity of spiritual and material. Becomes very closed

Life open to children, generally true are free handed.

Past 60-70 years concerned not to freely give $$ in hands of bishops and pope. Put limit on charity that she could bestow. Sad reality needs correcting. Bishops profligate in ways we can’t imagine. In spite of this, man needs to give freely.

How does one freely receive sacrifice on the Cross without giving freely in turn.

Quickening, BVM has to share it. Generous God man & woman in amazing sacrament to cooperate with Him to bring forth new children. Profound goodness that we might lose.

People who give, give. Marxist in the Church


Casti Connubii[2] & Humanae Vitae[3]



 A new development emerges immediately in this section. The encyclical talks about sexual intimacy not as a right or a duty, nor as permissible or tolerable, as theologians and bishops had in earlier days. Nor does the document immediately turn to procreation as the primary end of marriage, as it did in “Casti Connubii.” Rather it turns to “married love,” which derives its nature and nobility from God who is love (No. 8, reiterated in No. 11). I have my students study how the encyclical specifically describes this love: friendship, faithful, exclusive and fecund (No. 9). I turn then to the question of the ordering of births in responsible parenthood. Here I focus on the notion of an objective moral order, a concept the students reasonably acknowledge and respect (No. 10).

I then have them study paragraph 11. Here I highlight the natural law’s recognition of the “intrinsic relationship” between sexual activity and procreation. While the encyclical acknowledges that any natural infertility does not compromise the moral legitimacy of sexual intimacy in marriage, still, “each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life” (No. 11). Here the encyclical instructs us on the two-fold, inherent significance of marital, sexual activity as unitive and procreative. There are no moral grounds for breaking this bond (No. 12).

https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2014/01/22/how-i-teach-humanae-vitae   accessed June 30, 2022  NB America Magazine, Jesuit publication




The pastoral problem is to lead the massively contracepting parish back to living the divine truth about human love. Here is where the events leading up to “Casti Connubii” can be helpful. Most parishioners have utterly no idea that before August 14, 1930, birth control was not a Catholic- Protestant issue. This isn’t to say that before that time some theologians, both Catholic and Protestant, had not argued in favor of allowing marital contraception, but the formal teaching of all the Christian churches had held the line. I have found that the simple exposition of the relevant facts can be helpful in leading couples to understand better and then to accept the teaching of “Casti Connubii” and “Humanae Vitae.”

What are the relevant facts? I think it is helpful to explain that the modern sexual revolution did not start in 1960 but rather has developed over a period of almost two centuries. The first stage started with Malthus; the second with Margaret Sanger; the third with Lambeth of 1930; the fourth with the Pill, and the fifth with widespread dissent in the Catholic Church.

What has been summarized as his most profound theological contribution, Theology of the Body, John Paul II labeled the entire work a “rereading of Humanae Vitae.” NB JPII Love & Responsibility had a profound influence on the encyclical HV.

John Paul II thought this was one of the areas where a “fuller treatment” was necessary.  Much of the teachings in the Theology of the Body are centered on building an “adequate anthropology” that provides an integral vision of man.

Man is a body person.  This means that the body is not just something accidental, or a mere house for the soul.  The body is not just part of the person, but instead is the person as expressed in the physical world.  When the body is separated from the person conceptually, the consequence is that we extend the instrumentality of biological functions (such as thirst) to the spiritual acts (like love).  The spiritual acts have meaning in themselves.  Because some bodily actions have an inherent meaning, we must respect this in our behavior. 17

If the body is the way a person expresses himself, then in some way man must image God, who is a communion of persons pouring themselves out in an eternal exchange of self-giving love, in his body.


[1] https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=1409  accessed July 5, 2022

[2] https://www.vatican.va/content/pius-xi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_19301231_casti-connubii.html  accessed June 30. 2022

[3] https://www.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae.html  accessed June 30, 2022

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