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408 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived


The spouses’ union achieves the twofold end of mar-

riage: the good of the spouses themselves and the trans-

mission of life.

—CCC, no. 2363

The bond between husband and wife is both conjugal and procreative.

Conjugal mutual love and fidelity is the


aspect of marriage. The


aspect of marriage concerns the conception, birth, and edu-

cation of children. The bond between the unitive and procreative may

not be broken.

Unitive Faithful Love

The unitive aspect of marriage involves the full personhood of the

spouses, a love that encompasses the minds, hearts, emotions, bodies,

souls, and aspirations of husband and wife. They are called to grow

continually in unitive love and fidelity so that they are no longer two but

one flesh. Their mutual self-giving is strengthened and blessed by Jesus

Christ in the Sacrament of Matrimony. God seals the consent that the

bride and groom give to each other in this Sacrament.

The acts in marriage by which the intimate and chaste union

of the spouses takes place are noble and honorable; the truly

human performance of these acts fosters the self-giving they sig-

nify and enriches the spouses in joy and gratitude. (CCC, no.

2362, citing GS, no. 49)

Acceptance of a spouse’s faults and failures as well as of one’s own

is a recognition that the call to holiness in marriage is a lifelong process

of conversion and growth.

Procreative Love

God calls the married couple to be open to children, remembering always

that having a child is not a right, but rather a gift from God (cf. CCC, no.