This week in our Theology class we have been discussing the beauty of marriage and the special graces God pours out upon married couples. The more we talk about marriage, the more we have explored the Catholic Sacramental understanding of them. This focus has been heavily centered upon the reality of the husband and wife becoming one, through marriage, for the remainder of their lives. The more I think of my own parents the more I realize just what that means, and how profound God's grace is therein. Through marriage, couples truly become one and grow together in a manner that transcends understanding and in a depth of love that is so great.
I used to make fun of a friend of mine for her choice of a favorite film, about an old couple growing old together and looking back on their life together. I wish I could remember the name of it, but nevertheless it ended with them visiting in the nursing home together. The more I think about the more I get it. True love and marriage is epitmozed by that depth of love that one shares, that depth that is so evident in grandparents and elderly couples one encounters, many who have spent 50, 60 years together in marriage. You can't help but see how they truly are one in love, and you can see the amazing gift God gives through the sacrament of marriage. You can also see the depth of their love and oneness in that their existence is forever intertwined with one another. They are not two married persons, but rather a couple, always and forever. Sadly that beautiful notion of love is so much different than the shallow love touted in movies and pop culture today.
A good friend and deacon in our building recently told me a story about a marriage ceremony he attended many years ago. He told me how wonderful it was until the couple got to their vows and pledged "to stay together however long their love should last." How sad indeed that they did not understand that true love lasts forever!
Happy 40th Wedding Anniversary Mom and Dad.