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64. Implications of Marriage

1. Marriage brings to the spouses the mutual obligation ofrendering the debt, as it is called; that is, ofsurrendering the body to the generative act.

2. This sacred duty is to be rendered by either spouse atthe will of the other, whether this will be expressed explicitly orindicated implicitly.

3. In the rendering of the marriage debt, husband and wifeare on a plane of perfect equality; both are equally in command;both are equally held to obey.

4. Since marriage involves the duty of rendering the debt,neither spouse, without the full and free consent of the other, isfree to make a vow which conflicts with marriage duty. If onespouse should make such a vow without the consent of the other, hesins. Nor must he keep the vow. Instead, he must do penance for avow unlawfully made.

5. It is wise and prudent, if there be no danger ofconcupiscence, for spouses to abstain sometimes from the use of themarital act, for instance, on holy days.

6. Yet there is no serious obligation on spouses ofpracticing such abstention. And one spouse cannot justly enforceabstention on the other, even at times when it seems suitable forreasons of piety or religion. Recurrent physical inconvenience onthe part of the wife makes it most suitable that the husbandabstain, but if the marriage debt be demanded, even in theseseasons, it is not to be refused.

7. The Church has wisely decreed that marriage (which maybe lawfully enacted at any time) is not to be ceremoniouslycelebrated, with nuptial Mass and blessing, during the seasons ofpenance called Advent and Lent.

"Whoever wants to stand alone without the support of a master and guide will be like the tree that stands alone in a field without a proprietor. No matter how much the tree bears, passers-by will pick the fruit before it ripens. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"To do God's will -- this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul. "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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