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    STUDIA THEOLOGIA CATHOLICA - Issue no. 4 / 2007  

  Abstract:   The sacrament of marriage, a vocation to the mystical life? In the sacrament of marriage, the Christian spouses mirror and participate in the love between Christ and the Church. They are called to be an epiphany (manifestation) of this mystical love, therefore their vocation to marriage is ipso facto a call to mystical life. The preeminent instance of the mystical union between Christ and the Church is the mystical union between Christ and the soul, especially in its loftiest form, namely, the spiritual marriage. Thus, one can say that spiritual marriage is the archetype of sacramental marriage, and consequently one needs more to understand the latter in the light of the former than the other way around.
   The practical consequence of the conclusions stated above is that, in order to understand what marriage is truly about, one would need to have the experience of the mystical union with Christ in the spiritual marriage. That is why, even if, per impossibile, not all would be called to mystical life, at least those called to marriage would. Otherwise, how could the spouses become, in their sacramental union, the living image of and a participation in a mystery that is foreign to their experience? To what extent would they reflect and irradiate a mystical reality, without living a mystical life? What would they understand of their marriage, of its sacramentality, if they had no taste of the mystical union with Christ? That is why the sacrament of marriage presupposes a call to mystical life, more precisely, to its loftiest form, the spiritual marriage. In fact, the sacrament of marriage renews this call and specifies it, thus it is somehow a call to mystical life on its own. More precisely, in marriage the spouses should „incarnate” their divine espousals with Christ in their spousal union with one another („Love one another as I have loved you” – Jn 15,12), and they should also live their spousal union with one another as a realization of their spousal union with Christ, as their modus amandi of Christ the Spouse („As you did it to one of the least of these... you did it to Me” – Mt 25,40). This is the specificity of their mystical call.
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