408 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived
THE LOVE OF HUSBAND AND WIFE
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.
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.