Beginning our Novena to Venerable Paul VI in preparation for his beatification, we reflect on some aspects of his prophetic encylical, Humane Vitae. Today, the holy Pontiff reminds us that marriage and married love is part of God's design, of his plan for us and the world. Hence the veneration with which it is held in the Church, its importance and the necessity to protect and support it. No longer a mere natural relationship, it is in Christ a supernatural union, a Sacrament through which God pours out his graces.
"Married love particularly reveals its true nature and nobility when we realize that it takes its origin from God, who "is love," the Father "from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named."
Marriage, then, is far from being the effect of chance or the result of the blind evolution of natural forces. It is in reality the wise and provident institution of God the Creator, whose purpose was to effect in man His loving design. As a consequence, husband and wife, through that mutual gift of themselves, which is specific and exclusive to them alone, develop that union of two persons in which they perfect one another, cooperating with God in the generation and rearing of new lives.
The marriage of those who have been baptized is, in addition, invested with the dignity of a sacramental sign of grace, for it represents the union of Christ and His Church."
Humanae Vitae, 8
We thank you for the witness of your Servant, the Venerable Paul VI, who served you and the Church as Universal Pastor in difficult times.
As a pilgrim among pilgrims he sought to reveal the beauty and joy of the Gospel to the men and women of his time, choosing the way of gentleness and forbearance.
As Shepherd of the flock he sought to proclaim the truth in a time of great confusion in imitation of his patron the Apostle to the Gentiles.
As Servant he proclaimed the Gospel of Life and in doing so bore the cross of suffering and isolation in union with your Crucified Son becoming a Prophet in the midst of the growing culture of death.
As we prepare for the glorification of your Servant, may his example of faith, courage and patient endurance inspire us in our daily living of the Gospel and in our witness to Jesus Christ.
May we too be Prophets of life, respecting, protecting and cherishing the gift of life, most especially in its most vulnerable moments.
May we too be your missionaries at this time, seeking to transform the hearts of all men and women through the joy we find in Christ.
Hear our prayers, most Merciful Father, and grant us through the intercession of Venerable Paul the graces we now ask………………………
Through Christ our Lord.Amen