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"Some are called to holiness through family life in the sacrament of marriage.
I have confidence in you."
⎯ Pope Francis, July 28, 2013,
When the Catholic Church teaches that marriage is a Christian vocation it is saying that the couple's relationship is more than simply their choice, but a choice that involves a call from God and a response from a man and a woman who promise to build, with the help of divine grace, a lifelong, faithful and sacramental partnership of love and life.
The Second Vatican Council teaches that "all Christians in whatever state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity" (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, n. 40). The call to marriage is a particular way of living the universal call to holiness given to every Christian in the sacrament of baptism. The calls to ordained ministry or to the vowed religious life are other Christian vocations. Along with marriage, all of them are a response to the Lord who says, "Follow me."
The call to love is "the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1603). In the vocation of marriage, something which "is written in the very nature of man and woman" (n. 1603), we see that "the love of husband and wife becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves" (n. 1604).
However, what begins as attraction must deepen into conviction and commitment. Those who are called to the married life should be ready to learn what their vocation means and to acquire the virtues and skills needed for a happy and holy marriage.
The vocation to marriage is a call to a life of holiness and service within the couple's own relationship and in their family. As a particular way of following the Lord, this vocation also challenges a couple to live their marriage in a way that expresses God's truth and love in the world.