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Sunday, 26 July 2015

The Mystery of Love

As we have learned from the philosophers, and from the Pope Emeritus, there are different kinds of love. You may want to go back and look at my comments on Deus Caritas Est and Caritas in Veritate.

Recently, I have been observing middle-aged and even older friends experiencing a renewal of love in their good marriages. This has been a revelation to me, as I have not seen such rediscoveries of bridal love among couples for a long time. Sometimes, one sees this renewal in very old couples, like my parents, who at 92 and 87, love and respect each other openly more than ever before in their long marriage of 67 years.

Perhaps, just perhaps, it takes a long time for couples to rediscover that first love, after years of trials, tribulations, sufferings, illness, financial difficulties, problems with children and so on. These episodes, and, indeed, crises, either bring a couple closer together, or separate them forever. A couple must face suffering together, no longer looking merely at each other, but at the day that life has brought them, the struggle they must face together to overcome successfully.

I have witnessed women truly becoming helpmates, as God created a wife to be--a servant who is cherished and respected above all other women on earth. I have seen men become real protectors and spiritual leaders.

But, the real key to this rediscovery of bridal love must be the central love of God, the finding of the God Within, the awareness of the Indwelling of the Trinity in ones' self and in one's mate.

When a person finally gets in touch with the Trinity Who dwells within, life and love bubble up in a new fountain of grace. When both the man and wife discover God within, the chemistry becomes almost magical. This spiritual awareness in the couple is the great mystery of love--finally, the man and the woman have become truly one as God intended.

When God becomes the heart of the marriage, the heart of both hearts, bridal love is renewed.

For those who keep faithful to their marriage contract, this bridal love will happen if they keep God's commandments, especially the first one.

No other gods can replace God in a marriage, neither money, or status, or success, or possessions, or even children. The couple become one when God is first in each of their hearts, minds, imaginations, memories and wills.

This type of love is only possible when the couple share sanctifying grace. This type of love is only possible when the couple is traveling together towards God, attempting to bring each other to heaven, to the fullness of life in God.

And, this is only possible when love transcends all else, becoming, truly, agape love.

Only a man and a woman can become one in Christ.

Only a man and a woman can experience the renewal of bridal love.

Only in and with God can this bridal love occur, that first love, which renews itself in Christ until death parts the couple.

But, this love lasts as that of brother and sister in Christ in heaven, the real love of heaven, agape love.

Sacrificial love is another name for bridal love. And, yes, it is passionate, not only in the body, but in the soul. Zeal for each other's salvation marks this good love.

Those who experience this mystery of love renewed bring life into the Church in a way others cannot. This is the gift of true marriage to the Church-marriage in Christ, marriage according to God's plan.

I have never experienced living with a husband for years and years and coming to this renewal of mutual bridal love. But, I do understand and experience the bridal love for Christ, as His bride, as a single person, who has been blessed with such graces to know that Christ loves me eternally in a special way. He loves me as a woman in a unique contract of commitment and service where He leads me.

Singles can experience bridal love in one way-through their total giving of themselves to God directly, and not through another person. This is our call. It is another way to the discovery of the God within, the Indwelling of the Trinity.

God never denies love. He shapes all holy loves to His will. That is the mystery of love.