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Man must feel himself called to rediscover, or even better, to realize, the spousal meaning of the body and to express in this way the interior freedom of the gift, that is, the freedom of that spiritual state and power that derive from mastery over the concupiscence of the flesh.
These words from Saint John Paul II, have for me, been at the heart of the annulment and convalidation process; healing, redemption, purity, mastery over concupiscence, a deeper understanding of the spousal meaning of the body, and a grasp of the sacramentality of marriage.
I can never write those words without tearing up—they move me so.
Why did we submit ourselves to this after 18 years of marriage?If they wanted the church's blessing why wouldn't they just marry in church in the first place?If there was a reason they were unable to do that isn't it hypocritical of the church to give a blessing afterwards?We live in a culture desperately in need of good, strong marriages.We live in a world that gives up on marriage when it gets hard.