Pope St. John Paul II: Free, Total, Faithful, and Fruitful

When I chose the name for this blog – Faithful and Fruitful – it was simply because these adjectives expressed how I want to live my vocation to marriage:

Faithfully, to my spouse and to this sacrament;

and fruitfully, meaning that I want my marriage to bear fruit in terms of children and virtue, but also that I want my marriage to bear fruit for my spiritual life, even if that spiritual life is not shared with my spouse.

But would you believe, I had no idea that this quote is often attributed to Pope St. John Paul II, famed for his beautiful theology of marriage:

“True love is free, total, faithful, and fruitful.”

Now, I have to be honest. After scouring the Internet and consulting a group of highly knowledgeable Catholic ladies, I cannot find the original source of this quote. It has been suggested that it may be some kind of paraphrasing of some section of Pope St. John Paul II’s extensive (and somewhat dense) Theology of the Body.

Even if that is the case, it seemed to me rather providential that these two words – “faithful” and “fruitful” – that I completely unknowingly chose for the name of this blog, should be words that Pope St. John Paul II likely used to describe a holy marriage.

For me, it was a timely reminder that this is truly our call, and our vocation, despite the difficulties that many of us face in not sharing our faith with our spouses. God has called you to holiness through this most holy sacrament. Your call to holiness is not any less because your spouse doesn’t understand the holiness of the vocation to marriage. If anything, it is even greater – you are the spiritual leader of the family, and your commitment to living a Christ-centred life bears even more weight.

I hope you feel encouraged, and renewed in your desire to be the home of prayer and peace within your family!

Pope St. John Paul II, pray for us!

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