Marriage is Usually Difficult and Irksome… The Challenge of Spiritual Sacrifice in a Faith-Based Marriage

Rituale Romanum (Roman Ritual) – Instruction on the Day of Marriage and Exhortation before Marriage

Marriage is Usually Difficult and Irksome... The Challenge of Spiritual Sacrifice in a Faith-Based Marriage

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RITE OF CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE – 1962 RITUALE ROMANUM

The Most Rev. William O. Brady, S.T.D., Archbishop of Saint Paul

My beloved brethren in Christ, this man and woman present themselves today before human witnesses and before the Church to bind themselves in a solemn contract that will end only when death “does them part.

” This man will pledge a husband’s fidelity to his wife. This woman will, in her turn, pledge a wife’s fidelity to her spouse. By an exchange of promises, they will take each other as man and wife.

They begin their married life in faith and they understand that the perfection of life is love.

The marriage of man and woman is, in part, any human contract. One pledges; the other accepts. Both pledge; both accept. In human marriage, the exchange is of the body and of the heart with full giving and accepting without reserve.

The marriage of those who are baptized, however, is more than an ordinary contract, much more than an exchange of promises.

The baptized find their vows blessed by God, and, in the Sacrament of their union, they discover the grace to support their marriage pledge and the special spiritual help they will need for holiness in their state of life. In Christian marriage, husband and wife give more than themselves to each other.

They exchange the gifts of God. They share the grace of God. Living with God as their witness in true Christian modesty, they lift each other up to spiritual ways that surpass any human counting.

The woman in the married union is meant to be the helpmate of her husband. The man is meant to be the comfort and strength of his true wife.

If God will give this couple children as the fruit of their union, they will count themselves honored by their Creator and they will watch their present love come alive anew in the children committed to their care.

Should their hopes of children be without realization, they will cling to each other all the more and know that, together, with ever deepening resolution, they must find their joy and their happiness in mutual help and consolation.

Blessed is the married couple whose home is a shrine even more than a house. Blessed is the married pair who understand that their union is their way to Heaven.

Blessed are those husbands and wives who are given children in the flesh so that they may lead them to be the children of God.

Doubly blessed are men and women when their marriage is sealed and sanctified by the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

There is a sacred unity in every marriage. Keep it well and be one together always in thought and action and in prayer.

This is an unbreakable union in marriage. See to it that in little things there are no fractures of charity and in big things no division of hearts.

There is a high dignity to marriage. Walk always proud of this man and this woman as you are proud today to be joined in sacred wedlock.

There is a special sacredness in marriage since God has willed it so. Kneel often before God in thankfulness for your union. Speak often to God for the helps you will need. Pray often to God in gratitude for his gifts, not the least for today’s gift of this husband or this wife.

Let Christ be the head of your household, One who shares those days that will be worse as well as those that will be better. May today’s joyful exchanges extend until you will have grown old together in each other’s comforting companionship, growing holy together by each others’ help and example.

May God bless you both and bless the family you will found.

Exhortation Before Marriage

My dear friends: You are about to enter upon a union which is most sacred and most serious. It is most sacred, because established by God himself.

By it, he gave to man a share in the greatest work of creation, the work of the continuation of the human race.

And in this way he sanctified human love and enabled man and woman to help each other live as children of God, by sharing a common life under his fatherly care.

Because God himself is thus its author, marriage is of its very nature a holy institution, requiring of those who enter into it a complete and unreserved giving of self. But Christ our Lord added to the holiness of marriage an even deeper meaning and a higher beauty.

He referred to the love of marriage to describe his own love for his Church, that is, for the people of God whom he redeemed by his own blood. And so he gave to Christians a new vision of what married life ought to be, a life of self-sacrificing love his own. It is for this reason that his apostle, St.

Paul, clearly states that marriage is now and for all time to be considered a great mystery, intimately bound up with the supernatural union of Christ and the Church, which union is also to be its pattern.

This union, then, is most serious, because it will bind you together for life in a relationship so close and so intimate, that it will profoundly influence your whole future.

That future, with its hopes and disappointments, its successes and its failures, its pleasures and its pains, its joys and its sorrows, is hidden from your eyes. You know that these elements are mingled in every life, and are to be expected in your own.

And so not knowing what is before you, you take each other for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death.

Truly, then, these words are most serious. It is a beautiful tribute to your undoubted faith in each other, that recognizing their full import, you are, nevertheless, so willing and ready to pronounce them.

And because these words involve such solemn obligations, it is most fitting that you rest the security of your wedded life upon the great principle of self-sacrifice.

And so you begin your married life by the voluntary and complete surrender of your individual lives in the interest of that deeper and wider life which you are to have in common. Henceforth you will belong entirely to each other; you will be one in mind, one in heart, and one in affections.

And whatever sacrifices you may hereafter be required to make to preserve this mutual life, always make them generously. Sacrifice is usually difficult and irksome. Only love can make it easy, and perfect love can make it a joy. We are willing to give in proportion as we love.

And when love is perfect, the sacrifice is complete. God so loved the world that he gave, his only-begotten Son, and the Son so loved us that he gave himself for our salvation. “Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

No greater blessing can come to your married life than pure conjugal love, loyal and true to the end. May, then, this love with which you join your hands and hearts today never fail, but grow deeper and stronger as the years go on.

And if true love and the unselfish spirit of perfect sacrifice guide your every action, you can expect the greatest measure of earthly happiness that may be allotted to man in this vale of tears. The rest is in the hands of God.

Nor will God be wanting to your needs; he will pledge you the life-long support of his graces in the Holy Sacrament, which you are now going to receive.

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Source: https://sanctamissa.org/en/resources/books-1962/rituale-romanum/66-matrimony-instruction.html

The Joy of Vocation

Marriage is Usually Difficult and Irksome... The Challenge of Spiritual Sacrifice in a Faith-Based Marriage

Husband & Wife Articles

A look at the grown-up version of fun

By Carrie Gress

Shortly after I got married, a good priest gave me some sage advice: look at all your daily frustrations as a source of holiness. Later that day, my husband did something that irritated me, so I said to him through clenched teeth: “You are making me so holy right now.” Of course, this made us both laugh.

When my husband and I were married, there was the excitement of new love and the joy of finally fulfilling our vocation. We had been warned, however, that this bloom on the rose couldn’t last and things would get tough. But what we didn’t hear was that there was a secret gem buried in those difficulties, if only we could find it.

Our first child arrived two weeks before our first anniversary. Three more followed, one every other year. Somewhere in the course of having four children, spending an entire year unemployed, moving six times, and completing a doctoral degree, we discovered great joy. Yes, we were tired.

Yes, our not-so-young bodies ached from rocking children to sleep in awkward positions or schlepping them from place to place. Yes, the travel, great food and fun adventures that had enriched our single lives came to a screeching halt. And yet, what we found in the midst of all of this sacrifice was joy.

In fact, we became aware that the joy we were experiencing was the result of our sacrifices. Giving fully of ourselves was the source of this joyfulness.

I’ll never forget when I first experienced the depth of this joy.

Shortly after our third child was born, when I was still beyond exhausted, there was a stirring in my soul that I couldn’t put my finger on – something bubbling up that seemed wildly place given the daily struggles I was going through.

It took me a while to make the connection between the joy and the struggles, but then I kept noticing it particularly as I got in the habit of offering up those challenges to the Lord. The joy was Christ’s gentle way of saying, “You got it; you are doing it right. Keep giving.”

Our culture would have us believe that a vocation, marriage in particular, ties us down and limits our options.

But rather than confining us or keeping us from the pursuit of happiness, our vocation leads us in the way of God’s love. Following our vocation enables us come to know how God loves us, in joyful sacrifice.

This is not to say that every moment is overflowing with joy, but the glimpses of it give meaning and consolation to the daily struggles.

The roadmap of love in the First Letter to the Corinthians is a familiar reading at weddings. “Love is patient, love is kind … ” (1 Cor 13:4-8). What follows this passage, however, is a glimpse at what maturing love looks .

“When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things” (1 Cor 13:11). Love and the gift of self, not simple biological age, bring us to full maturity.

In fact, we sadly have abundant evidence that many people who have aged have not matured spiritually.

The sacrifices required in any God-given vocation will naturally correct this, which is why marriage vows and the final vows made by religious are so essential – when we honor them, we are transformed for the good. Of course, the opposite is also true.

The old rite of Christian marriage included these poignant lines: “Sacrifice is usually difficult and irksome. Only love can make it easy, and perfect love can make it a joy. We are willing to give in proportion as we love. And when love is perfect, the sacrifice is complete.” The connections are clear: the deeper the sacrifices, the greater the love, the stronger the joy.

Joy is what the spiritually mature soul seeks. Entertainment, pleasure, and passivity are the hallmarks of childishness. Maturity brings with it the awareness that there is something deeper, more beautiful, and peace-giving, the fruit of which is joy. And that joy is to adulthood what fun was to childhood. Joy is the grown-up version of fun.

Carrie Gress holds a doctorate from The Catholic University of America and is a philosophy professor at Pontifex University.

She is the author of Nudging Conversions: A Practical Guide to Bringing Those You Love Back to the Church, and Ultimate Makeover: The Transforming Power of Motherhood.

A homeschooling mother of four, she and her husband, Joseph, live in Virginia. Her website is Carriegress.com.

Source: http://www.fathersforgood.org/ffg/en/husband_wife/archive/the-joy-of-vocation.html

The Challenge of Spiritual Sacrifice in a Faith-Based Marriage

Marriage is Usually Difficult and Irksome... The Challenge of Spiritual Sacrifice in a Faith-Based Marriage

Source

In the 1962 Rituale Romanum Rite of Christian Marriage, William O. Brady, Archbishop of Saint Paul gives the following instructions on the Day of Marriage:

“Sacrifice is usually difficult and irksome. Only love can make it easy, and perfect love can make it a joy. We are willing to give in proportion as we love.”

During a recent business dinner, a dear friend and respected business associate asked my husband and me how we were finding married life.

Unbeknownst to this friend, we had recently hit a rough patch, and we were both still reeling from our first real “fight.” Although it wasn't much of a fight in terms of real life, it was the first major disagreement we had experienced since getting married, and we were both privately licking our wounds.

I will pause the narrative here to say that I was wrong. Completely wrong. The fight arose from a misunderstanding on my part, and escalated to unnecessary proportions.

I'd to blame the summer heat. It had been unusually hot in Wyoming that July, and the heat seemed to be putting everyone on edge. I spent an entire day, stewing and brewing, suffering in the heat, until my husband came home from work, completely unaware of the rage building in my gut.

I had been wronged, I figured, and I was going to set the record straight. The more I thought about my perceived injustice, throughout the day, the madder I got.

Not wanting to get off track or distracted while taking my husband to task, I decided to jot out a quick outline. I wanted to make sure I covered my main points, without getting off topic.

Six pages later, my outline had become a novella, and I was loaded for bear. I waited to pounce on my unwitting victim.

After he came home, I calmly began my speech, starting with point number one. By the time I reached my second bullet point, my fury was loosed, and I was blasting him from the left and right with each of my well thought out topics.

Let's just say, it didn't go that well for me. I made it all the way to sub-text A of point one, before we both came unglued. He didn't really come unglued. He just walked away, leaving me with my list.

We made it through the argument, both of us hurting and confused. And then the business dinner, just a few nights later.

As our friend and associate innocently inquired about our marriage, we looked at each other, unsure how to respond.

It was then that he quipped with a smile, “Marriage is usually difficult and irksome. Only love can make it easy, and perfect love can make it a joy.”

As he shared his wisdom, my heart melted and I realized that marriage can be a joy, if only we are willing to look beyond our own needs, toward the greater good of our lives together.

Source

My friend used the word “marriage” in his quote from the Rituale Romanum, but the original quote refers to sacrifice.

The Archbishop describes marriage as a union in which you set aside individual interests in favor of the much greater interest of the union. You sacrifice your desires for the greater good.

The phrase “self sacrifice” is unpopular in common culture. Many people, even married people, are out for themselves. They focus on their own needs and desires, while completely discounting the needs of their partner, and arguably more importantly, the needs of the union itself.

When we enter into marriage, we are creating a unit that is greater than the individual parts. The value of the union is much greater than the worth of either individual who enters into the relationship. It is imperative for each member of the union to see the value of the greater whole. The greater good.

One of the greatest sacrifices you can make is to keep your mouth closed. It's hard not to say, “I told you so,” or to remind someone of their mistakes. Instead of bringing up past hurts and wrongs, try being quiet.

Rather than choosing to be offended at every perceived slight, choose instead to overlook the offense. Choose to give your partner the benefit of the doubt. Allow yourself to be the bigger person, to forgive in the face of wrong doing, and to love, even when it is hard.

This sacrifice will require great will power. But it has been said that the bigger or more mature person moves first toward reconciliation and forgiveness.

The next time you are given an opportunity to be offended, choose to turn the other cheek. And remember, not everything that your partner does or says is directed at you. It is not all about you.

Give grace, be love, forgive.

“A greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

How do you offer a sacrificial love in marriage, in current times, and what is sacrificial love? The reality of sacrificial love is a daily commitment to putting your partner before yourself. It is usually difficult, irksome, and at times just plain tiresome.

Oftentimes, your sacrifice will go unnoticed. You will go unappreciated. You will not be recognized for what you have given up, forsaken or forgotten. You will be challenged, questioned, and even antagonized. These are the hallmarks of sacrificial love.

Sacrifice requires love and a genuine desire to serve someone else. Sacrifice requires genuine, deep commitment and consideration. While you may not be required to literally give your life for your partner, you must give your life in every moment.

In each moment, you have a choice, to think first about yourself and your wants, needs, and desires or to push those thoughts aside to consider what would be better for the other person and for the greater good of your union.

Each moment offers you an opportunity to sacrifice your life. To give up what you think you want in order to serve your partner, and to make your marriage stronger.

Being married means that you love someone else more than you love yourself. It means that you attend to their needs before you address your own. It means that you sacrifice your life in order to serve them. This is difficult. Irksome. Love makes it easy. Perfect love makes sacrifice a joy.

Source

Be careful and discreet; it is much easier to get married than unmarried. If you have the right mate, it's heavenly; but if not, you live in a twenty-four-hour daily hell that clings constantly to you, it can be one of the most bitter things in life.

— John J. Robinson, in his book, 'Of Suchness'

Marriage will influence your entire life, for better or worse, whether it works out or not. If you are married, then you have an opportunity to create an intimate bond that will enhance your own life, your partner's life, and the world around you.

A good marriage is far greater than the sum of its parts. A good marriage enhances life for everyone around it. It motivates, inspires and brings joy not only to the married couple, but also to those lucky enough to spend time around them.

The joy you share, the pain you experience, the achievements and the losses are not yours alone. They belong to the union, to the marriage, and to those around you. Your friends, relatives and associates can learn a great deal, as they see you traverse the peaks and valleys of married life.

And through all the highs and lows, love provides the cement that binds your hearts. You have no way to know what life will throw at you, but if you put your marriage first, with your partners needs before your own, then you will find that even the most devastating lows will be tolerable and bearable.

” Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap, if we do not give in and lose heart.” Galatians 6:9, Amplified Bible

“However, each man among you [without exception] is to love his wife as his very own self [with behavior worthy of respect and esteem, always seeking the best for her with an attitude of lovingkindness], and the wife [must see to it] that she respects and delights in her husband [that she notices him and prefers him and treats him with loving concern, treasuring him, honoring him, and holding him dear].” Ephesians 5:33, Amplified Bible

The truth is marriage isn't always easy.

There are some things your parents, your pastor and your friends may not have told you about being married and staying married. There are some real truths about marriage, and the sooner you learn and embrace them, the happier your union will be.

1. Marriage is hard. Of course, when you are staring into the beautiful eyes of your beloved, you are convinced that love will overcome any difficulty your might face in the future. The truth is, learning to live with another person, and then spending your life together is hard. It takes work.

There will be times when one of you is angry, hurt, frustrated, or just plain fed up. In these times, do not lose heart. This too shall pass. There will be good times and bad times, because marriage is just life itself. Everything is always changing.

If you are committed to making your marriage work, then you will get through the hard times and enjoy the good times.

2. Marriage takes sacrifice. You give up your right to be selfish when you say “I Do.” No, this is not a popular idea, but for a marriage to be successful, it is necessary for both of you to sacrifice. Put the other person first. Put their needs ahead of your own.

Stop thinking only of yourself, and consider your partners feelings, hopes and dreams. Each of you should strive daily to make the other person's life just a little bit better, or a little bit easier, in whatever way you can. It is not always about making huge, life-changing sacrifices. Sometimes, the small things are just as important.

The small sacrifices you make daily add up to create a beautiful life, together.

3. Everything always changes. For good or bad, better or worse, things always change. Nothing stays the same forever. You are changing every day. Your partner is changing every day. The world around you is changing every day.

Change is inevitable. Suffering comes about when we refuse to accept change, or when we try to control things outside of our control. Relinquish your desire to control things.

The key is to accept that change will occur, and then allow yourself to move comfortable into the flow.

4. It is worth it. This might be the best kept secret about being married. The hard times, the sacrifice, the changes, it is all worth it in the end.

To find the love that permeates your life, fills you with purpose and drive, and gives your existence deeper meaning is the whole purpose behind joining together in marriage. Yes it will be hard. Yes, you will give up things you want. Yes, things will change.

But in the end, you will discover joy and love greater than you could ever have imagined, and you will realize as you walk into the end of your life, that it is all worth it in the end .

© 2016 Deborah Demander Reno

Source: https://pairedlife.com/relationships/Marriage-is-Usually-Difficult-and-Irksome

Instruction.html

Marriage is Usually Difficult and Irksome... The Challenge of Spiritual Sacrifice in a Faith-Based Marriage

Instruction Before Marriage

Dear friends in Christ: As you know you are about to enter into a union which is most sacred and most serious, a union which was established by God himself.

By it, he gave to man a share in the greatest work of creation, the work of the continuation of the human race.

And in this way he sanctified human love and enabled man and woman to help each other live as children of God, by sharing a common life under his fatherly care.

Because God himself is thus its author, marriage is of its very nature a holy institution, requiring of those who enter into it a complete and unreserved giving of self. But Christ our Lord added to the holiness of marriage an even deeper meaning and a higher beauty.

He referred to the love of marriage to describe his own love for his Church, that is, for the people of God whom he redeemed by his own blood. And so he gave to Christians a new vision of what married life ought to be, a life of self-sacrificing love his own. It is for this reason that his apostle, St.

Paul, clearly states that marriage is now and for all time to be considered a great mystery, intimately bound up with the supernatural union of Christ and the Church, which union is also to be its pattern.

This union then is most serious, because it will bind you together for life in a relationship so close and so intimate that it will profoundly influence your whole future.

That future, with its hopes and disappointments, its successes and its failures, its pleasures and its pains, its joys and its sorrows, is hidden from your eyes. You know that these elements are mingled in every life and are to be expected in your own.

And so, not knowing what is before you, you take each other for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death.

Truly, then, these words are most serious. It is a beautiful tribute to your undoubted faith in each other, that, recognizing their full import, you are nevertheless so willing and ready to pronounce them. And because these words involve such solemn obligations, it is most fitting that you rest the security of your wedded life upon the great principle of self-sacrifice.

And so you begin your married life by the voluntary and complete surrender of your individual lives in the interest of that deeper and wider life which you are to have in common. Henceforth you belong entirely to each other; you will be one in mind, one in heart, and one in affections.

And whatever sacrifices you may hereafter be required to make to preserve this common life, always make them generously.

Sacrifice is usually difficult and irksome. Only love can make it easy and perfect love can make it a joy. We are willing to give in proportion as we love.

And when the love is perfect, the sacrifice is complete. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, and the Son so loved us that he gave himself for our salvation.

“Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends”.

No greater blessing can come to your married life than pure conjugal love, loyal and true to the end. May then, this love with which you join your hands and hearts today never fail, but grow deeper and stronger as the years go on.

And if true love and the unselfish spirit of perfect sacrifice guide your every action, you can expect the greatest measure of earthly happiness that may be allotted to man in this vale of tears. The rest is in the hands of God.

Nor will God be wanting to your needs; he will pledge you the life-long support of his grace in the holy sacrament you are now going to receive.

Author Unknown

Source: https://www3.nd.edu/~afreddos/marriageinstruction.htm

Essential, but Sometimes Irksome

Marriage is Usually Difficult and Irksome... The Challenge of Spiritual Sacrifice in a Faith-Based Marriage

“Sacrifice is part and parcel of authentic love” and is connected intrinsically to married life as Christ intends it, Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington, Va., told participants in the diocese’s Oct. 24 annual Marriage Jubilee Mass. He said that while “sacrifice is certainly unpopular” and mention of the word is rare today, it is well-known to long-married couples.

Bishop Loverde connected sacrifice with commitment in marriage. He said:

“If a person really loves another, that is, really desires the total good of the other person, then such a person is committed by the very nature of love to give of himself or of herself for the sake, the good, of that other person. Giving of oneself involves sacrifice; it means that I make the other person a priority; it demands dying to self in order to live for the other.”

I discussed the relationship between sacrifice and commitment in a report last week on some of the latest work by Scott Stanley, a noted marriage researcher at the University of Denver. He thinks a not-yet-married man and woman who are dating and starting to think about marriage need to “decode” each other’s level of commitment to their relationship.

Stanley says there is a growing belief that these couples can identify one sign of commitment in each other’s willingness to make healthy sacrifices for their relationship. Treating the relationship as a high priority is among other signs singled out by Stanley that one partner may feel committed to the other.

In their fall 2009 national pastoral letter titled “Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan,” the U.S. Catholic bishops talked about the important role sacrifice plays in marriage and family life – the “willingness to sacrifice oneself in everyday situations for one’s spouse and children.”

“There is no greater love within a marriage and a family than for the spouses and children to lay down their lives for one another. This is the heart of the vocation of marriage, the heart of the call to become holy,” the bishops said. They pointed out that this “call to love reaches beyond the home to the extended family, the neighborhood and the larger community.”

Bishop Loverde said that couples who participated in the Marriage Jubilee Mass in Arlington “have understood and have lived the reality of sacrifice – of sacrificial love given generously” over the course of 50 or 25 years. But these couples would “be quick to tell us that they did not do that always easily or well,” he added.

The reality is, however, that they did sacrifice, “sometimes in ways that were really difficult, nearly impossible, maybe even dramatic, but more often than not in ways that were just annoying, irksome and really inconvenient,” the bishop said.

Love is what enabled these large and small sacrifices, he commented – love that “was not a passing feeling or merely an emotion, however noble, but love that was a commitment, a decision ‘to be’ for the other.” It was life-giving love: love of a type described by St. Paul; love obtained through prayer; love transformed “ water into wine” by Christ.

That reminded me of something Father Chester Snyder said last June during a Mass for couples celebrating 50th anniversaries in the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pa.

There is a boldness in marriage, according to Father Snyder.

It is the boldness of “saying to the world that it is possible to live faithfully and to hang in there when adversity rears its challenging head, rather than become cynical and throw in the towel.”

Bishop Loverde recalled an instruction or exhortation once read to couples at every wedding in the church that accented the importance of sacrifice in marriage.

“It is most fitting that you rest the security of your wedded life on the great principle of self-sacrifice,” the exhortation advised couples at one point. It said: “Sacrifice is usually difficult and irksome.

Only love can make it easy, and perfect love can make it a joy.”

Bishop Loverde thanked jubilarian couples for the “sacrificial love” they’ve “given generously” and in ways that often were unseen by others. He noted that their witness encourages and strengthens others in their own vocations. Of course, he said, for these couples’ witness “we first thank God, apart from whom they could never have sacrificed” with such generous love.

About the author 
David Gibson served for 37 years on the editorial staff at Catholic News Service, where he was the founding and long-time editor of Origins, CNS Documentary Service.

David received a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University in Minnesota and an M.A. in religious education from The Catholic University of America.

Married for 38 years, he and his wife have three adult daughters and six grandchildren.

Source: https://www.foryourmarriage.org/blogs/sacrifice-in-marriage-essential-but-sometimes-irksome/

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