Marriage: an icon of the relationship between God and people

 Pope Benedict praised John Paul II's teaching on marriage yesterday, when he received participants in an international congress promoted by the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family of the Pontifical Lateran University. The Holy Father identified two elements characterizing "the novelty of John Paul II's teaching on human love." The first is the fact that "marriage and the family are rooted in the most intimate core of truth about man and his destiny." The second element is "that Christ, fullness of the Father's revelation of love, also reveals the full truth of man's vocation of love, which can only be completely achieved in the sincere giving of self." He then recalled how his own recent Encyclical "Deus caritas est" highlighted the fact that "the close relationship between the image of God Love and human love enables us to understand that 'corresponding to the image of a monotheistic God is monogamous marriage. Marriage based on exclusive and definitive love becomes the icon of the relationship between God and His people and vice versa. God's way of loving becomes the measure of human love'." "This idea has still largely to be explored," the Pope said, adding that the institute's task is "to illuminate the truth of love as a road to completeness in all forms of human existence. ... Authentic love becomes a light guiding all life to its fulfillment, creating a society in which mankind can live. The communion of life and love that is marriage is thus ... a real good for society." The Holy Father concluded: "Avoiding confusion with other kinds of union based on a weak form of love is, today, particularly urgent. Only the rock of complete and irrevocable love between man and woman is capable of acting as a foundation for a society that can be home to all human beings." Source: VIS

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