Translation: Peter Damian-Grint
Once you have read and gone deeper into the Itinerari Catecumenali per la vita matrimoniale, you can extract, from its reading, a decalogue of ten key ideas of this document (of which you can find an extensive summary here).
1. The purpose of marriage preparation in the Church is marital holiness: to form couples capable of evangelizing our society.
2. The grace of the sacrament leads the spouses to become aware of the efficacious presence of Christ in their communion of married life and love.
3. The greatness of the vocation of Christian spouses requires a serious and prolonged ecclesial work, with an attractive, comprehensive, profound and intense formative proposal.
4. The adequate way to gestate a Christian marriage is a “catechumenate” or itinerary of faith, in which the future spouses accept the divine gift and take on the protagonism of their preparation process, guided and accompanied by their pastors and by other members of the Church opportunely prepared.
5. Training for mature spousal love presupposes a continuous formative process, with various phases: from remote preparation in childhood and youth (in the family, parish, school, movements and ecclesial groups), to that close and immediate to the celebration of the sacrament (of at least one year’s duration), which will continue after the sacrament is contracted in married life (especially in the first years).
6. The Church should instruct and be close to the engaged couple on their journey towards marriage, with a positive, encouraging and witnessing style of trust and sincere dialogue; personal and community prayer is also necessary, with the opportune sacramental celebration of the Eucharist and Reconciliation. In this way, future spouses will be able to welcome the Gospel of marriage and the family with hope and live it within the ecclesial community.
7. The good news of Christian marriage has to be transmitted in a gradual process of purification and growth, with mercy and prudence. In this way, the candidates to the married state will be able to assimilate the blessing of the sacrament, overcoming with the appropriate aids the possible deficiencies and personal limitations, and improving the couple’s communication.
8. The engaged couple must be able to understand the meaning, goals, characteristics and goods of marriage according to the divine plan of creation and redemption. Then they will be able to choose it in a conscious and mature way, in an exercise of reflection and discernment, avoiding the cultural confusions of some widespread erroneous ideologies.
9. The affective and sexual education of the heart through the human and Christian virtue of chastity, allied to love, as well as the reasoned explanation of the doctrine of responsible procreation, will allow them to understand and joyfully assume the beauty of the meaning of the human body in its masculinity and femininity as a call to interpersonal communion.10. Adequate and permanent preparation and ecclesial accompaniment is a guarantee of the fulfillment of the divine promise inscribed in the conjugal vocation. In this way, the conjugal covenant will be able to bear fruit in the fruitful joy of Christian homes, for the glory of God and the extension of his kingdom in our world.