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The Invisible Reality
• Sexuality, as God created it, is intended to be
something beautiful—a sign of our creation
in the image of God.
• God’s plan for love and conception in
marriage mirrors the Spirit of Love between
the Father and the Son is so great that it
literally becomes another person—the Holy
Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity.
The Invisible Reality
• Jesus, in his relationship with the Church, has
held nothing back
– Complete
– Free
– Faithful
– Fruitful
• As a Church, are called to give our whole
selves to Jesus in the same way
The Visible Sign
• Married love in God’s plan means becoming
visible, physical signs of who God is.
• Giving oneself freely, totally, faithfully, and
fruitfully to another person and being open to
the natural result of that mutual self-gift,
which may come in the form of another
person—a child.
The Visible Sign
• How do we, as a married couple, become
visible signs of the Holy Trinity and of the
relationship between Christ and the Church?
The Visible Sign
• A man and a woman who come together in
marriage must do so freely. They must not
feel any pressure to marry, but must make
these vows by choice.
The Visible Sign
• A man and woman who wish to marry must be able
to give themselves to one another exclusively and
• Since the visible sexual act renews a promise and
visibly expresses the invisible reality of a bond sealed
by God Himself, a promise and a bond must exist for
the act to make sense. A vow of faithfulness must be
present for the sexual act to be genuine.
The Visible Sign
• The vows of marriage are made visible in the
most complete manner in the sexual
relationship properly shared.
• The Church teaches against actions that take
sexual expression out of the context of a
loving, healthy marriage.
The Visible Sign
• The Catholic Church teaches against the use of
artificial contraception because it closes the
marriage to life and says to a spouse, “I give
my whole self to you – except my fertility.”
• The Church also teaches against reproductive
technologies that create life without the
loving, unitive act of a couple.
The Visible Sign
• Catholics do believe in family planning.
• Natural family planning is a safe, effective, and moral
way to space children and to limit the number of
children a couple has if they have serious reasons for
doing so.
• Natural family planning techniques also provide a
safe, effective, and moral way to achieve pregnancy
when a couple has difficulty conceiving a child.
The Visible Sign
• NFP is different from artificial contraception and
artificial forms of fertilization because it works with
the way God has created our bodies, rather than
working against it.
• God did not create women to be fertile 100% of the
time. He provided a way in nature for a couple to
space or postpone pregnancies when necessary and
reliably predict ovulation to facilitate pregnancy.
The Visible Sign
• Intimacy in marriage – making love means
more than having sex!
– Time spent with one another
– “Date nights”
– Cuddling
– Notes, phone calls, etc.
– Flowers and other surprises
Questions for Reflection
• How does the Catholic view of sexuality differ
from society’s view of sexuality?
• Given the truth that marriage signifies, explain
the reasons for the Church’s teaching about
• See prayer, p. 43