Saturday, May 14, 2016

Today’s Treasures from 'Amoris Laetitia' (163-164): On the Transformation of Love




  • There is no guarantee that [married couples] will feel the same way all through life. Yet if a couple can come up with a shared and lasting life project, they can love one another and live as one until death do them part, enjoying an enriching intimacy. The love they pledge is greater than any emotion, feeling or state of mind, although it may include all of these. It is a deeper love, a lifelong decision of the heart. (163)
  • We love the other person for who they are, not simply for their body. Although the body ages, it still expresses that personal identity that first won our heart. Even if others can no longer see the beauty of that identity, a spouse continues to see it with the eyes of love and so his or her affection does not diminish. (164)
  • The marriage bond finds new forms of expression and constantly seeks new ways to grow in strength. These both preserve and strengthen the bond. They call for daily effort. None of this, however, is possible without praying to the Holy Spirit for an outpouring of his grace, his supernatural strength and his spiritual fire, to confirm, direct and transform our love in every new situation. (164)


Pope Francis is accurate and emotionally intelligent here.  Love, when Christ is at its center, is transformative. It takes on new, more applicable maturity as we age and change. I see this in my marriage, thanks be to God. As my wife matures, there are parts of her person and physicality, that I am more attracted to than when we were dating or newly married twenty years ago. And I wholeheartedly agree: “None of this, however, is possible without praying to the Holy Spirit for an outpouring of his grace, his supernatural strength and his spiritual fire” (164). Many marriages end due to the pride and self-serving attitudes of those involved. I know, there are times when I can be this way. Only through grace have I been able to try to be a loving, giving husband and father. I fail in many ways, but God is good and has blessed us all the more.