by Ken Rolheiser
A blinding love for each other

In a dark and hazy room a Mystic delivered the grave news: "There's no easy way to tell you this. You will be a widow. Your husband will die a violent and horrible death this year." Visibly shaken the woman took a few deep breaths. She simply had to know. She met the Fortune Teller's gaze and asked, "Will I be acquitted?"

They say the secret to a lasting marriage is to never think or use the word divorce. The word murder is a different thing. My suggestion: when we pray for a “binding love for each other” for the couple, that we change it to a blinding love for each other.

I want to share a short blessing for newly weds written by Emily Jennings:
Here’s to the home that N and N shall build.
It shall have a kitchen on the first floor,
A bar on the second floor,
A bedroom on the third floor,
And a cathedral on the fourth.

So they can eat when they are hungry,
drink when they are dry,
make love when they are lonely,
and have salvation when they die.

All of that is essential to a happy and enduring marriage. But what is love? What is the magic? How do some marriages endure through all hardships?

Aletia Sunday May 14 discussed love and marriage in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. Marianne Dashwood embodies sense or sensuality. Everything Willoughby does is right. She has no eyes for anyone else. A single spark of love ignited a passion that swept her off her feet.

Elinor Dashwood, Marianne’s older sister, represents the sensibility aspect of love, choosing what the mind says is reasonable in spite of feelings. As the novel unfolds we learn that both these extreme approaches to love will fail in the end.

The World Wide Catholic Network Aletia goes on to discuss what makes a lasting marriage. In a reference to Karee and Manuel Santos’ The Four Keys to Everlasting Love we learn the keys are to be faithful, free, fruitful, and total.

God blesses the joy of the marriage celebration as we saw in the 120 to 180 gallons of wine at the wedding at Cana which Jesus blessed. The wedding is not just about the happy couple, but about the family and the community members who gather around to witness and pledge their support. “And, of course, it’s primarily about God, who alone can revive and renew our love when it runs dry.”

The advantage of a sacramental marriage in the church is the promise of grace; grace to get a couple through the hard times. The grace of a Sacramental marriage empowers a husband and wife “to love to the highest degree, the degree that Christ loved us – to forgive seventy times seven times, to do the humblest chore out of love, and to die to self in order to live and love for others.”

Author Karee is asked: What does “Everlasting Love” look like for Valentine’s Week? --Her answer: Everlasting love is a thread that binds past, present, and future. Couples can remember their past by looking at their wedding pictures or videos, re-reading their wedding vows, or re-creating their first date. They can thank God for the here and now by attending Mass together. And they can pray and dream for a better future together…

(566 words)