Words of John Paul II:
Through the communion of persons which occurs in marriage, a man and a woman begin a family.
In affirming that the spouses, as parents, cooperate with God the Creator in conceiving and giving birth to a new human being, we are not speaking merely with reference to the laws of biology. Instead, we wish to emphasize that God himself is present in human fatherhood and motherhood… Indeed, God alone is the source of that “image and likeness” which is proper to the human being, as it was received at Creation. Begetting is the continuation of Creation.
Parents, in contemplating a new human being, are, or ought to be, fully aware of the fact that God “wills” this individual “for his own sake”.
From the very moment of conception, and then of birth, the new being is meant to express fully his humanity, to “find himself” as a person. This is true for absolutely everyone, including the chronically ill and the disabled. “To be human” is his fundamental vocation: “to be human” in accordance with the gift received.
The words of consent define the common good of the couple and of the family. First, the common good of the spouses: love, fidelity, honor, the permanence of their union until death—”all the days of my life”. The good of both, which is at the same time the good of each, must then become the good of the children.
The acceptance and education of children—two of the primary ends of the family—are conditioned by how that commitment will be fulfilled. Fatherhood and motherhood represent a responsibility which is not simply physical but spiritual in nature; indeed, through these realities there passes the genealogy of the person, which has its eternal beginning in God and which must lead back to him.
Man is a common good: a common good of the family and of humanity. God the Creator calls him into existence “for himself”; and in coming into the world he begins, in the family, his “great adventure”, the adventure of human life. It is precisely this dignity which establishes a person’s place among others, and above all, in the family. The family is indeed—more than any other human reality— the place where an individual can exist “for himself” through the sincere gift of self. This is why it remains a social institution which neither can nor should be replaced: it is the “sanctuary of life”.
Almighty God, we give thanks to you for your great gift to the Church of Christ in the person of John Paul II, whom we will call Blessed in a very short while. May his teachings enlighten our minds, may he transform our doubts into faith, may he form our families in love, and may the example of his life and his love for the Savior, which we desire to imitate, bring all of us into closer union with you. We ask this through your Son, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
Glory Be to the Father….