1. Why is the Eucharist the sacrament of the sacraments? (1) Baptism, Myron,led to Holy Communion. (2) Confession prepares for Holy Communion (3) priesthood: the first duty of thepriest is to offer sacrifice (4) Marriage liturgy is celebrated after the Bride+ Bridegroom received Holy Communion. Marriage is the foundational sacrament that stands at the very root of the Family, Church, and society. Stability of Marriage guarantees stable families, Church and the Society. Marriage can be the 1st sacrament written on the first pages of the Bible. Those who wanted to strike at the Church took Marriage as the Axe (Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk, gave up celibacy and got married, Henry VIII married Annie Bowline). In modern times anarchy in Marriage (gays, unwed mothers, genetic engineering, live-in partners etc.) strikes at the core of God's designs for man.

2. The essential attributes of Christian Marriage are unity and indissolubility (YC 263, 262 2nd Para). A marriage that remains unbroken for alifetime is an excellent sign of a Christian witness. Unity is the marriage bond that exists between one man and one woman. No other man or woman shall disturb/enter into that unity. Such a union remains intact and cannot be dissolved for any reason or by anyone, not even by the Church as God himself seals it. This law's harshness and uncompromising character have been discussed from time immemorial but never dissolved as God himself has joined them to form one body. What is good in the eyes of God cannot be harmful in the eyes of man.

3. Procreation. Openness to having children joins the couple with God's creative power–according to the commandment of God, “be faithful and increase in number (Gen 1/28)”. Exclusion of unity and indissolubility and openness to procreation at marriage make the marriage invalid (YC 262).

4. Mutual help and enjoyment. Male and female, he created them to long for and clung to each other and find fulfilment in being one with each other. (Gen 1/27) Man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife,becoming one flesh (2/24). These are aims of marriage laid by God Himself in human nature. Violation of these designs of God on Marriage life defeats the plans of God for man.

5. Sexuality and its expressions by man and woman are among the most profound human instincts. Still, it is not left to man's whims and fancies but needs to be exercised and regulated by laws laid in human nature (natural law), laws laid down by the Church (Canon law) and the state (civil law). In the 10 Commandments reflecting several aspects of natural law, 6 and 9 commandments are laws for regulating man’s sexuality. The beauty of married life becomes resplendent when lived according to God’s dispositions regarding it. It breaks and hurts the family when it dissipates from how it is supposed to walk. Families that keep the family spirituality become the light of Christ to other families in the Parish and, together, the light of the Nations. Indissolubility of marriage can be understood only by looking at Christ’s love for the Church, which is never-endingself-giving, unconditional faithfulness and devotion to the church. Every lifelong marriage is a sign for God, who is not relativized, but held as absolute always.

(Prepared by Fr. Varghese Anjanithadathil)