Spousal Love in Conjugal Spirituality
Magnificent article by Christopher J. Stravitsch:
Our Catholic faith is lived through an array of spiritual traditions. While each observes the same theological truths, the Church is enriched by the different emphases within each tradition. The same is true of conjugal spirituality. Married couples, who give rise to the Domestic Church, are as varied as the schools of spirituality. While Catholic marriages are built upon a common theological foundation, each couple’s spirituality may emphasize certain aspects of their vocation to which they are particularly drawn, and in which they can live quite well. This paper explores perspectives of conjugal spirituality that cultivate reverence for, and understanding of, spousal love. First, a masculine perspective is presented, through which husbands are tutored in spousal love as they contemplate Christ, the Divine Bridegroom, whose agape is poured out from the cross. A feminine perspective approaches Mary’s fiat as a model for wives, who are called to image the Church as they receive and respond to spousal love. Next, a liturgical analogy is presented as a means for fostering reverence for what is sacred in conjugal union. Finally, contraception is critiqued as an antithesis to conjugal spirituality, while conceiving new life through the chaste practice of natural family planning is lauded as a noble fulfillment of it.