by Ken Rolheiser
A love that will last

A newly married couple was crossing a lake when suddenly a great storm arose. The man was a warrior, but the woman became fearful they would perish in the small boat. "Are you not afraid ?" she asked. The man laughed and drawing his sword, brought it close to her throat. 

"Are you afraid?" he asked. She laughed and said, "Why should I be afraid? I know you love me." “You have got the answer," he said. “I know God Loves us, and the storm is in His hands.”

Whatever happens in this story, it will be good. When everything is in God’s hands, God cannot do anything wrong. Trusting in God will transform your life. 

In the song “Mine” Taylor Swift sings “Wondering why we bother with love if it never lasts”. Many confuse making love with a love that will last. But how do you find a love that will last?

There is a spiritual dimension to romantic love. Normally people pursue relationships that bring pleasure and avoid those that produce pain. But a love that will last demands sharing your dreams and hopes with your partner and committing to long term goals.

In “Finding True Love That Will Last forever” spiritualist Obara Meji says love is stronger than hate. Love can conquer hate. “…no matter the hardest heart, the show of love can crack it to get through, and once this happens, that Jezebel or Devil becomes a soft kitten or a gentle giant.”

The love between a man and woman can be deep. Meji shares the story of an incident that happened when she had her first crush on an older boy. One night she heard gunshots and immediately ran for the door. Her mother tried to stop her, but Meji shouted, “I have to go. Eric has been shot.”

Outside she found Eric in a pool of blood. Robbers fired shots as they ran, and Eric was struck. He recovered, but Meji instinctively knew he had been shot. God’s gift of love is powerful.

The spirituality of love takes us to the dimension of love beyond death. When Jesus left us on earth, he promised to send the Holy Spirit. The Church teaches us that “the Father eternally generates the Son and that the Son is eternally generated by the Father. The living, eternal bond of love between the Father and Son is the Person of the Holy Spirit” (Compendium, 48).

As Christians we belong to the one body of Christ in a unity we call the Communion of Saints, which takes in all of us, the living and dead. Imagine then a couple in love for life. They can communicate with each other, celebrate each other, forgive each other, even if one of them has already been born to eternal life.

The Byzantine Rite has a wonderful tradition of singing "memory eternal" at funerals. This prayer refers to remembrance by God. Just as Jesus remembered the thief on the cross, our prayer is that the departed will be in paradise with Jesus.

And how do we find a love that will last? A great place to find it is in the love of God for his church, often compared to the love of a husband for his wife. “If a couple is married in church, continues to go to church and has a prayer life together, the chance of a failed marriage is one in 1005” (World Wide Marriage Encounter).

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