The past eight months have been the best eight months of my life. In February, I met the man that I am blessed enough to spend the rest of my life with. When my fiancé, Ray, asked my dad for my hand in marriage, he told him that he desires nothing more in life than to help make me a saint. What more could a dad ask for? What more could I ask for?
The purpose of marriage, like the purpose and direction of our entire lives, is sanctity. If spouses are not actively working to get one another to heaven, they are missing the point of their vocation!
The following two (of the many) things that I’ve learned falling in love with my fiancé have quickly and beautifully transformed my understanding of love directed toward holiness. They are reminders that I hope to reflect on often for decades after my wedding day.
Love is Worth Suffering For
In addition to being the greatest, the past eight months have also been the hardest eight months of my life. My fiancé and I do not live in the same state, and we spend a significant portion of our time together on Skype or on the phone. I often describe the experience as painful, but it’s the kind of pain that has made us grow.
Love is worth suffering for. Whether it’s sickness, or distance, or emotional struggles in your relationships in life, suffering is practically inevitable in love. You only need to look at the Cross to see the reality of suffering love in its ultimate form.
Christ teaches us how to transform our suffering into a deeper love for others and for God. My friends and I often talk about how one of the biggest blessings of Christianity is its truth of redemptive suffering. Suffering has meaning and value. It makes love ascend heights and overcome obstacles. Pope St. Leo the Great says that there is no victory without strife. The victory of resurrection and love comes after the suffering and strife of the Cross.
When life gets really hard, and your closest relationships aren’t easy, remember that love is transformed and grows through suffering.
Finite Human Love is Only a Taste of God’s Infinite Love
Human love is just a taste—though a really good taste—of the infinite love God has for us.
How often do you feel disappointed by those you love in this life? How many times have you been frustrated because people you love fail to love you in the way you wish they would have?
Human love will never completely suffice, because our hearts were made to be filled also and totally with divine love. What human love should do is direct you toward the divine. Your spouse’s love should remind you of and draw you closer to the fountain of God’s love.
There are many in our culture today who get restless in their human relationships and in their human marriages, because they don’t see their love as a reflection of the supernatural love that God has for each and every one of us. They think that their love can satisfy all of the desires and yearnings of their hearts and it can’t, because it wasn’t made to! If we were totally satiated by the love of a another human person, we would lose that drive in us—that motivating thirst—for something more, that rousing craving that keeps us searching for God and the infinite love that he can pour out into our hungry hearts.
If you sometimes feel disappointed by human love, you’re only normal! You’re operating according to the way God designed you. By recognizing that you were made for more than finite love, you learn that all the love you experience from the people in your life is merely a foreshadowing of the outpouring of love you will experience in heaven. And it is only then that the aspiration you have for perfect love will be quenched.
Until then, treasure the loving relationships in your life, because God put those people there to love you enough for you to place in your heart a hope in the ultimate love He has in store for you in heaven.
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