Marriage: United Under The Same Yoke



Mortification especially keeps a man and a woman united in marriage. in fact, it cuts egotism in half, that stubborn self-affirmation that is the chief enemy. In marriage, mortification preserves love. It teaches couples to hold back hurtful words that cause bitterness and coldness and to speak only words that are good and that lead to mutual charity and edification.

Spouses can be described as “conjoined” (in Latin, coniuges), which etymologically means “united under the same yoke.” If that yoke is the yoke of the flesh, of pleasure, or only of duty, it very soon become heavy and unbearable. Jesus offers Christian spouses who live in the Spirit the possibility of becoming “conjoined” in an altogether different sense: They are “conjoined” because they are under the same yoke, Christ’s yoke, which is the yoke of love. He says to them, in a special way, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29).

You will find rest! This is why St. Paul exhorts those who marry to do so “in the Lord.” To marry in the Lord means far more than simply being married in the Church; it means putting the marriage under the lordship of Christ, entrusting a decision made in time to something that really belongs to eternity. If you marry relying only on your own feelings or on the enthusiasm of a love in the budding stage, when the initial love diminishes you will find yourselves faced with the obligation of loving forever, and duty all by itself will not be enough to sustain love. But if, on the other hand, you place your marriage relationship under the shelter of grace, if you have built on the rock that does not change, then you can always return to it again to find grace, finding the foundation for unity there every time. The words of the Prophet Zechariah are also relevant for those who marry: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”


This is an excerpt from: Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap. Sober Intoxication of the Spirit; Part Two: Born Again of Water and the Spirit Pg 57-58


One thought on “Marriage: United Under The Same Yoke

  1. Pingback: Ordinance for marriage | daily meditation

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