Christian Marriage Study Guide

1) What is human sexuality?

The word and image of God

Fundamental component of personality

Biology of humanity made better by the spiritual aspect of        humanity

What themes enable us to distinguish a christian understanding of sexuality from a Neo-Pagan?

The christian understanding of sexuality is that sex is deeply who you are. It is an identity of the person that runs throughout the person, affecting the very unity of the body and soul. It is the basis of love between man and woman and is intrinsically procreative.

The Neo-Pagan understanding of sexuality is that sex is a trait of the body. It is only what is true of the body, it does not have to express love, and it is what people do for satisfaction. It allows for “sexual qualifiers” such as oral sex, anal sex, etc

How is sexuality intrinsically related to love?

All true sex is a matter of love. While sex is a source of satisfaction, pleasure cannot be the finality of sex because sex only ordered towards pleasure is intrinsically evil. Sex is the spousal gift of self.

How does the secular/Neo Pagan view combine love and sexuality?

Sex is what people do for satisfaction. Love can accompany sex but it doesn’t have to. Sex is only a conventional sign of love and not the highest expression of love.

What is the theology of the body?

In the Theology of the Body, given by JPII, we get an understanding of ourselves from the perspective of God. With that understanding, we have to act in truth of ourselves. It shows that the body is a sign of the person as a manifestation of the spirit. It emphasizes self-mastery, not self- control

What are the basic teachings of the Theology of the Body?

The basic teachings are that the body is the person, not separate from the person, but in unity of the person, the body and the being are one and inseparable. The body has personal dignity: being a person, you’re not supposed to use persons. The body also expresses the person. A person is someone, willed by God, for his or her own sake, someone with intrinsic value, fulfilled through self-gift.

What is the spousal meaning of the body? 

The human is created by God, for its own sake and created by love, for love. In the spousal meaning of the body 1) the good of the beloved is willed and there is perfection through total self-gift.

What is a symbol?

a symbol has its own meaning by resemblance. The sign has a likeness to a second reality. A material reality the resembles a non-material spiritual reality,

What is the language of the body?

The language of the body tells the pure meaning of the spousal meaning of the body through marital consent and self-gift. The body is ably to express the vows of marriage.

What does sexual intercourse symbolize?

Gifting yourself for the whole of your life. In intercourse the body speaks on behalf of the person.

What is a sexual lie?

A sexual lie is a failure in the truthfulness in the language of the body. It is an attempt to fragment the person. Contraception, for example, is a sexual lie because it  divorces the woman from her fertility, in effect, saying “I accept you for the whole of your life except the part that makes you fertile.

What is Chastity?

To be chaste is to have a will united in a common good. Chastity is a firm disposition of the good, and to live the full good of human sexuality. The successful integration of sexuality in the person and the unity of man in his bodily/spiritual being.

What is the relationship between Chastity and love?

In order to be chaste, one must exercise the virtue  of love. Chastity itself offers the freedom to love. Where chastity supposedly “hinders” love, then there is not true love there.

What is continence and how is it related to chastity. 

Continence is resisting a disordered desire because it is recognized by the person that the desire is disordered. Conversely, to be chaste is to never have the disordered desire in the first place. For example, a man practicing continence may be tempted to contracept with his wife, but refuse to because he recognizes that contraception is an intrinsic moral evil. A chaste man, however, would never have the desire to contracept with his wife. So, in short, continence is the ability to refrain from an action because a good will be served by doing so. Continence, however, is always incomplete if it does not lead to higher values. Chastity is not about resisting desires, but not having those desires in the first place.

What is concupiscence? 

Concupiscence isolates sex out of  context without its proper fullness. It isolates pleasure from procreation, and separates the body, person, and sex. For example, the concupiscent man would contracept with his wife, effectively separating her fertility from the rest of her person for the simple goal of satisfying pleasure. Concupiscence shifts the focus of love from the person to a “love” of pleasure. The concupiscent person only has a love for the self. In the fullest sense, the concupiscent person lives according to the whims of the flesh.

What are the hallmarks of concupiscence?

1) loss of the spousal meaning of the body

2) loss of inner freedom

3) disposition to egotistical satisfaction

4) disposition to sexual lies

What is shame?

Shame as it is referred to here is not simply guilt or embarrassment. This shame is a fear or anxiety. Shame is when man and woman are being afraid of being used as an object. A sexual shame is using someone for sexual satisfaction.

What are the three manifestation of chastity as integration 

1) Ethos of the gift of redemption: that is, what excites the person is good, true, and beautiful.

2) Balance of arousal and emotion: there is not simply sexual arousal, but an arousal with an emotional response

3) Nakedness without shame: to reveal ones full self without the fear of being used.

What is responsible parenthood? 

Responsible parenthood is cooperating with God in bringing about new life. This is an obligation for parents, not an option or suggestion. Then, responsible parenthood is to love each other truly and well. In other word “I want you to be the best mother/father that you can be. Responsible parenthood is the duty that we have because of our sexuality and fertility

What is contraception?

Contraception here does not refer to any one pill or method of contracepting. Contraception is the litmus test for the theology of the body. It is a choice, freely chosen, to render procreation impossible, therefore separating man and woman from their fertility and promoting and perpetuating a sexual lie. Contraception is freely chosen  it is a proximate end of the will, and an effect of a behavior before, during, or after the sexual act.

Why is contraception immoral?

Contraception intrinsically violates the sexual act. It treats the body as sub-personal, as an object and it alters the integrity of the sexual act. It violates self-gift and divorces man and woman from their fertility. It is declaring a lack of self mastery to wait until a “safe” time to have intercourse.

Why is contraception unchaste?

It is concupiscent to treat the body as an object. Chastity is a mark of inner freedom, to contracept is to declare a lack of inner freedom, the inability to have enough self control to wait. It sends the message “sex with you is good, but not good enough to wait for.”

What is the essential difference between contraception and NFP?

Contraception hinders the procreative act, NFP assists it. The evil of contraception not only lies in the hindrance of the transmission of life, but in the unwillingness to wait. It doesn’t inspire self control and promotes the domination of the body. NFP on the other hand assists the transmission of life, inspires self control and promotes a natural sexuality.

What are the 4 hallmarks of chastity?

The four hallmarks of chastity are experiencing the spousal meaning of the body, experiencing inner freedom, having a disposition to procreation and union and a full disposition to truthfulness.

What does the church teach regarding reproductive technologies?

All reproductive technologies, to be moral, must assist the conjugal act and not replace it. Reproductive technologies need to avoid the domination of the body. The finality of sexuality is not limited to the transmission of life, but also to the dignity of the persons involved. To artificially reproduce is to say that an infertile spouse is somehow “not good enough.” It is putting the human will above the will of God.

Why is artificial reproduction immoral or unchaste?

First, it “makes” the child instead of loving the child into existence. It dominates the body, and does not will the true good of the spouses (illustrated in the points above).

What is the relationship between chastity and fidelity? 

Being faithful is the be chaste and living. Self gift is regulated by chastity and is a matter of love.

What are the requirements of fidelity in marriage?

The requirements of fidelity in marriage are unity, exclusivity, self-gift, and monogamy

What are some of the threats to fidelity? 

Several threats to fidelity are de-facto unions, adultery, pornography, Polyamory, fornication, and the biggest threat to fidelity is divorce.

Why is divorce immoral or unchaste? 

The finality and indissolubility of marriage is a necessary  part of the gospel. The lover cannot do justice to the beloved without monogamy and indissolubility. It is a destruction of the gift of self.

What does the indissolubility of marriage mean? 

When the marriage is valid, consummated, and sacramental, it is unable to be dissolved, for any reason, by man, woman, or priest.

What is intrinsic Indissolubility? 

Neither man, woman, nor a common will can dissolve the bond of marriage.

What is absolute indissolubility? 

A consummated marriage among the baptized cannot be dissolved,

What is the Pauline Privilege? 

It is when a non sacramental marriage is dissolved when one spouse converts, yet the pagan spouse is unfavorable of the conversion.

What is the declaration of Nullity

A declaration of nullity states that not marriage ever took place in the first place. This is different from a divorce.

Some Reasons for dissolving a marriage:

Age (man under 16, woman under 14)


Pre-existing marriage bond



disparity of cult


holy orders

What is a sacrament? 

A sacrament is an efficacious sign that is instituted by christ in which divine rights are dispensed to the participants.

How does marriage conform to our knowledge of sacraments? 

Form- self gift, consent

Matter- spouses in communion

Marriage becomes and efficacious sign that signifies communion and grace. It signifies the union of Christ and the Church.

What is the significance of the marriage bond within the sacrament? 

the mond cannot be dissolved, it results from the free will of the spouses and is therefore irrevocable.

What is the relevance of Christ for the sacrament of marriage?

1661- marriage signifies a union of Christ and the church; The love that Christ has loved for the church.

What is the spousal Meaning of the body?

Willing the Good of the beloved, Perfection through total self-gift.







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