Part 36 Marriage as Sacrament
Much of what we have discussed above regarded any marriage, sacramental or simply natural. In all that we have said, one read the realities in a twofold light: the light of nature and the light of revelation. The latter shows the heights to which Christ has elevated this sacrament.
What is instituted in all of nature regarding marriage is in Christ brought to its perfection. Marriage is raised to a Sacrament. He grants the couple a bond that is intrinsically and extrinsically indissoluble. It is intrinsically indissoluble, like any natural marriage, because in no case of marriage can the spouses themselves break the bond. Unlike natural marriage, however, a valid and consummated sacramental marriage is also extrinsically indissoluble. That is, not even the hand of Peter (the Pope in Rome) can break this bond. This sacramental bond is an anchor for the world. It is a sign that Christ loves his Church no matter what.
Further, Christ gives the graces for the spouses to live this joyful burden. For unlike Moses, he comes bearing not a law that is a type of good things to come; rather, Christ comes with Truth and Grace. Thus, he enables weak men and women to fulfill their marital obligations joyfully, even in the midst of trial. The actual graces are really communicated; for those who cooperate with these graces, further graces are communicated, so that one can grow from grace to grace. Conversely, those who neglect graces find their resources growing thin.
With God, the wise course is as with one’s friend. Murmur less; praise and thank more.