Gaudium et Spes, 46-52 In paragraph #46, the author talks about the council and the rules that they set for humans. The council provides a set of laws that dictate behavior of the humans and the work to be done as individuals and socially in their respective communities. The council chooses to concentrate on a variety of issues including marriage; family and human progress; life and its economic, social and political magnitude; the bonds that tie the family of nations; and peace. It goes on to assert that it shall shed light on what Christ requires of us humans in respect of each individual.
It suggests that humans be led by the ideals that are put by Christ, and seek answers to life’s complexities in Him. In paragraph #47, the author analyzes the sanctity of marriage and notes its importance in the society. He expresses that the wellbeing of any human and Christian is linked quite intimately to the harmony produced by a healthy marriage or family setting.
He also says that all men and Christians who foster love and all parents who fulfill their task as caregivers perfect the life of a healthy community. He talks of the plagues that affect this perfect setting of love as polygamy, divorce, and other arrangements that differ from the norm. He adds that marriages that are crowned with selfishness and material greed mostly end up being affected by the economic conditions and the demands of the civil society today. He also says that the family, despite all these problems and plagues, always prevails. The paragraph ends by urging the Christians and other people trying to preserve the sanctity of the family to respect the married state and acknowledge its holiness. In paragraph #48, the author talks about the intimate part of the married life. He says that it is based on love and is rooted in the conjugal covenant and it has to be based on personal consent. He talks about how through the union brought about by the marriage and love, the two spouses experience the meaning of their oneness and grow in it while seeking perfection everyday.
The author talks about the purpose of the matrimonial institution as meant for the procreation and education of children. The author also tasks the parents to act as good examples to their children. The paragraph generally talks about how the family requires mutual love between the spouses, their solidarity and faithfulness, and loving communication, assistance and cooperation between all the family members.
Paragraph #49 talks about how the Word of God urges the married to use pure conjugal love and undivided affection to nourish and develop their relationship. The author says that a love and marriage that is sealed by mutual faithfulness and recognizes Christ’s sacrament, remains unwaveringly true in body, mind and spirit, in bright days or dark and in good or bad times. The author also warns against erotically inclined marriages since they are mostly selfishly pursued and they soon enough fade wretchedly away. The author states that a true and authentic marriage with healthy conjugal love should be accompanied by faithfulness and harmony and shall never be profaned by adultery or divorce. In addition, the two should have the education of their children as a first priority in cultural, psychological and social aspects.
He also says that if the children grow up in a healthy family setting and learn from their parents, they shall be trained in the art of cultivation of chastity and they themselves shall be able, enter a marriage of their own in the future, after an honorable courtship. Paragraph #50 talks about the purpose of the marriage as the procreation and education of the children. In this paragraph, the author mainly talks about the children and more importantly how they are the integral purpose of marriage. He takes the reader to the bible where he refers to God’s words that it is not good for man to be alone and how He makes man as male and female and tells them to increase and multiply. He adds that the parents’ purpose is to bring human life forth and imparting education to those whom they have brought forth. He says that due to their reverence towards God they should fulfill this purpose.
Marriage, he says, should be and remain indissoluble even when there is no offspring. Paragraph #51 takes the reader back to the council and here they talk about the ills and situations of life that make it hard for the family institution to survive. The author says that there are those who, when faced with these problems, result to dishonorable solutions like abortion and infanticide. These, he adds, are unspeakable crimes, whether with sincere intentions or not, in the face of God.
The church, the author says, does not allow any methods of birth control and it maintains that all Christians and humans should maintain the sanctity that God requires us to place on marriage. Paragraph #52 focuses on the family. Here the author state that the family is a school of humanity and for it to achieve its mission it requires the cooperation of the minds of the spouses and their undivided attention towards the education of the children. He also adds that both parents presence in the family is very important in the growth of the children. The author asserts that the parents should educate their children in such a way that in future they can choose wisely a good, religious way of life and form good family settings for themselves.
The author says that the children should not be forced into marriage. The children are advised to use their knowledge and education for their future.