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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The Crisis of Nothingness

If one wants to read one of the best philosophers who are Catholic on marriage, one could not do better than Ven. Fulton J. Sheen. Out of all the modern commentators on sex and marriage, I find his writings the ones which connect the spiritual world with the world of matter, the world of the flesh better than most. And, his comments on marriage are realistic signposts for today's married couples as well.

From the same book into which I have been dipping, here are a few choice gems for meditation on marriage.

"When married life becomes dull, one has not hit the bottom of life; one has hit the bottom of one's ego...One has not hit the bottom of his soul, only the bottom of his instinct; not the bottom of his mind, but the bottom of his emotional life.  These trials are contacts with reality which God sends into every life."

"Whenever there is discontent, God is stirring the waters of the soul. He is reminding us that the perfect love for which we crave is not here; we're on the road to it.

"Love, which began with pleasure and self-satisfaction, changes into love for God's sake. The other person becomes less the necessary condition of passion and more the partner of the soul."

"Just as there is the Dark Night of the Soul, there is the dark night of the body."

"Just keep in mind that in every marriage, a man and woman promise each other something only God can give."

He also says that children are the paradox of the answer to aloneness together in marriage. Children bridge the gap in the tension between the seeking of perfect unity in the body and the spirit.  Children, "are the link that binds the lovers together, body and soul."

Those who study the theology of the body could benefit from a few chapters written by Ven. Fulton J. Sheen. More than most, he understands the crisis of nothingness, as he puts it, which destroys marriage, unless, as in the Dark Night of the Soul, one turns to God in faith, hope, and love.

To be continued....