Interview with Rev. Ludger Grün SSPX

by the editor of Mitteilungsblatt (SSPX Germany newsletter)

Fr. Grün, how did you start giving these conferences about the Sacrament of Marriage?

Since I've been giving conferences for the Catholic Family Movement in Switzerland, I've noticed that even good couples hardly pay any attention to the Sacrament of Matrimony. Subsequently, we held regular lectures and retreats in Switzerland on the basis of which this book was produced.

What do you mean that the married couples pay little attention to the Sacrament?

Many couples go to great lengths to make their family life Catholic, but forget the importance of the Sacrament of Matrimony. This leads to various failure symptoms: Despondency or resignation in relation to the spouse, companionship instead of living for each other, secular pessimism, reduction of love.

But isn't it realistic that love in marriage decreases with time?

It is realistic to say that love is reduced in many marriages. But doesn't it come from leaving aside the Sacrament of Matrimony? In the supernatural realm it is realistic that love increases. This is the gift of the Sacrament, that love grows more and more when one answers to the graces of the Sacrament. It shows a secular conception of marriage when one thinks that the drop of love is a normal phenomenon. The world does not know the gift of Jesus, and therefore it has no hope in his help.

What is this gift of Jesus for marriage?

When the wine went out at the wedding of Cana, Mary and Jesus did not just send the people home, but Jesus gave them about 150 Gallons of the best wine so that the wedding could continue. And Jesus does not exaggerate in his miracles and makes no jokes. This wine was a tremendous encouragement for the couple of Cana. Imagine, at a wedding today, a delivery of 800 bottles of wine would arrive free of charge, even from Jesus himself. That would be a massive surprise. The Lord meant to say that he ensures that love never ceases. In the Holy Scriptures, wine is often a symbol of love.

What does this have to do with the Sacrament of Matrimony?

The Sacrament is the source from which couples can draw this ever-new love. For through the Sacrament, they are not only a symbol of Christ and His Bride, the Church, but they are vividly connected to the Bridal Couple, like a branch to the tree. Thus, it happens that the same love lives between them as between Christ and the Church. For the branch has one and the same life as the tree. This is an eternally young love that never ends and that they give to each other.

What tasks does this entail for marriage?

The branch must correspond to the tree on which it lives. Nobody wants to find bananas on an apple tree. The married couple must therefore fit themselves to the relationship of Christ to His Church in three ways: They must have a similarity in love, a similarity in the structure of the relationship (Christ's head the Church's body) and a similarity in caring for the children. These are the fruits that Jesus expects from the Sacrament.

What is the best way to achieve this triple similarity?

First of all, there is the imitation of the bride and groom to Christ and His Church. We must therefore constantly look at how Christ and the Church live together. This includes common prayer and a common assistance at Mass. In the Holy Mass, a married couple come to Christ and the Church, the model of their marriage. Afterwards, one must take care that the mutual signs of love in the life of marriage always remain alive. Otherwise, the damage is very great.

What is the special importance of the Sacrament of Matrimony?

The future of the Church lies also in marriages. Without them, there will be no church the day after tomorrow. In addition, the marriage of the parents has a profound influence on the marriages of the next generation. The vocations should also be prepared by the parents. This is therefore a tremendous opportunity to give the children something very valuable.

What did you enjoy most about working with couples?

The most beautiful thing has always been the glow in the eyes of the spouses, when they have found new courage for a life from the Sacrament of Matrimony.

View all articles from Ite Missa Est