Where can we find words to express all the excellence and happiness of a Christian marriage? The church draws up the contract, the Eucharistic offering confirms it, the blessing sets its seal on it, the angels, who are its witnesses, register it and our heavenly Father ratifies it. What union is sweeter or more holy than that of two of the faithful who bear the same yoke (Matthew 11:29), joined together in the same hope, the same desire, the same discipline, the same service! Both are children of the same Father, servants of the same Lord…, forming but one flesh (Matthew 19:5), one spirit. They pray together, worship together, fast together, each teaching the other, encouraging the other, both bearing with one another.
You will find them together at church and together at the holy feast. In the same way they share both poverty and abundance, persecution or consolation. One has no secrets from the other, no subterfuge, but inviolable trust, mutual earnestness, no occasion for pain. They don’t have to hide themselves from each other in their visits to the sick, their assistance of the homeless; there almsgiving is without argument, their sacrifices without scruple, there observance of their daily duties without hindrance. Where they are concerned there are no furtively made signs of the cross, anxious greetings, silent thanksgivings. From their mouths, which are as free as their hearts, hymns and canticles burst forth; their only rivalry concerns who will best celebrate the Lord’s praises. Christ is made happy by this union and to such married couples as these He sends His peace. “There where two are gathered together” He is also present (Matthew 18:20); and there where He is present the enemy of our salvation has no place.(Tertullian (c. 155-220), theologian)