Three Blessings of Union

“St. Thomas [Aquinas] says the three gifts of matrimony which constitute its honour and happiness are (1) fidelity, (2) sanctification, (3) fecundity. Fidelity indicates the indivisible unity of marriage, by which husband and wife belong exclusively to each other. The sanctification, or sacrament, indicates the indissolubility of the tie, which, made by God, can never be put asunder. Children, finally, are the special blessing conferred by God on the marriage state.”

Concerning fidelity: “What fidelity could equal that of our good God? . . . God gives Himself to His Spouse whole and undivided; and if He has elected countless spouses besides each one of us, nonetheless does He belong entirely to us; nor is His love lessened on that account. He is as the sun which sheds its rays on a thousand eyes, and yet is enjoyed in its entirety by each single one. Rejoice, rather, at the greatness and power of your Beloved, and in the happiness of these countless souls which share His love with you and yet take nothing from it.”

Concerning sanctification: “The bond of union between God and the faithful soul is as inviolable as the word of God. And has He not said, ‘I have loved thee with an everlasting love’; and again, ‘I will betroth thee in faith’?”

Concerning fecundity: “Fecundity, the third blessing attached to holy matrimony, likewise attends this blessed union of God with the soul, and it may even be said to attain therein to its highest perfection. As the dew falling from heaven fructifies the plant, so does grace fructify the soul; and as the sun by its light enters the eye and is reflected on it, so does the Son of God produce in the soul the image of His Divine Being, and is, as it were, born again in the soul. . . . Where have such marvels of holy fecundity been seen as we read of in the lives of the Saints and Servants of God? And should not all souls closely united to their Divine Spouse produce, by His merciful assistance, abundant fruit of holy desires and good works to manifest their gratitude and their love, and thus to become ever more united to Him?”

Quotations from Alice Lady Lovat, The Marvels of Divine Grace: Meditations Based on the “Glories of Divine Grace” (Original Treatise by Fr. Nieremberg, S.J., Entitled “Del Aprecio y Estima de la Divina Gracia”) (London: R. & T. Washbourne, Ltd., 1917).

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