Monday, November 9, 2009

The Love of Married Life

One of the columnists in the Catholic Times had an article on marriages in Korea, prompted by the many marriage invitations that she has received . It made her reflect on what is love and what is marriage? Below is a summary of her thoughts.

"When the world gets shrunk to one person and that person is lifted up close God that is love. Those who have been in love understand; marriage on the other hand if not going well can change to where it looks like a loose fitting shoe, with the possibility of turning into hate and weariness."

There are some that say marriage has no meaning. There is no longer any tingly feeling in the relationship, the fantasy has evaporated and the times and daily life have removed the pleasant taste.

During the romance period there was the desire to learn all about the secret part of the partner's life, but you learn that there is no mystery and the illusion has disappeared. The other's defects and shortcoming you did not want to see come to full view and you retreat from the mystery and fantasy of married life.

But marriage is not only this but a beautiful promise and one can see it as the greatest gift that God has given to human kind. The important part of the joining of two people for life is the chance to grow more like the other person, and with the passage of the years like fruit, a ripening. The love hate relationship that the couple has experienced has made them closer and stronger in their relationship.

The relationship of the couple is the school in which they have learned the meaning of love, and the learning will continue until death. The time together is teaching them what love is. With time the love grows stronger from the many difficulties they have to endure. She entreats those who are married to live not according to their own ways but the ways of the other.

The love they experienced during the romance period was just a preparation for the true love in marriage. Do not see marriage as paradise but that is where it is heading . She finishes her reflection with the very meaningful Korean expression: "affection of hate".( There is affection even accompanying the emotion of hate) "Marriage is maturing together with the years, the most beautiful sight there is in the world."

We hear discussions on whether we have outgrown the institution of marriage. There are those who see it as an impossible joining of two people for life. It is sad that for many it does not work but can we say it is the fault of the institution, or that the spiritual growth that was necessary in the living together of two people did not keep pace with their chronological age. In my first years in Korea most of the marriages were arranged . The feeling at that time was that love comes after the marriage. I wonder even today if that is not the better way of looking at married love. The Church should possibly give us more examples of this married love, canonizing more of those who have lived a beautiful saintly married life.

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