Fulton J. Sheen: Marriage is a Symbol of the Nuptials Between Christ & the Church, by Fulton J. Sheen

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By Fulton J. Sheen, Catholic Exchange, July 30, 2021

Editor’s note: This article is an excerpt from a chapter in Archbishop Sheen’s Book of Sacraments, the latest Fulton Sheen anthology from Sophia Institute Press. We invite you to read our previous excerpt in the article “The Sacraments: A Divine Sense of Humor”.

Marriage as a sacrament belongs to an entirely different order than the mere union of man and woman through a civil contract. It basically regards a husband and wife as symbols of another marriage; namely, the nuptials of Christ and His Church.

The analogy of the heavenly nuptials goes back to the Old Testa­ment, where God appears as the Bridegroom, and Israel appears as the bride. When God becomes incarnate in Christ, He called Himself, and was called, the Bridegroom; it is the new Israel, or the Church, which becomes His bride or His spouse. It is often forgotten that our Blessed Lord called Himself a Bridegroom. When our Lord was asked why the disciples of John fasted, but His own did not, He answered: “Can you expect the men of the bridegroom’s company to go fasting, while the bridegroom is still with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot be expected to fast” (Mark 2:19)….

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