Blog # 328 Married Love
Until recently the following thoughts were used as an introduction in the Roman Catholic Marriage rite. Currently it would be optional. I always appreciated it and found it inspirational even to me as it was easily adapted and adjusted for me in my own celibate love. I hope it has been and will continue to be a blessing for you.
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"My dear Friends, you are about to enter into a union which is most sacred and most serious. It most sacred because it was established by God Himself ; most serious because it will bind you together for life in a relationship so close and so intimate that it will profoundly influence your whole future. That future, with its hopes and disappointments , its successes and its failures, is hidden from your eyes. You know these elements are mingled in every life and are to be expected in your own. And so, not knowing what is before you, you take each other for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and health. until death.
Truly, then, these words are most serious. It is a beautiful tribute to your undoubted faith in each other, that recognizing their full import, you are nevertheless so willing and ready to pronounce them. And because these words involve such solemn obligations, it is most fitting that you rest the security of your wedded life on the great principle of self-sacrifice. And so you begin your married life by the voluntary and complete surrender of your individual lives in the interest of the deeper an wider life which you are to have in common. Henceforth you will belong entirely to each other; you will be one in mind, one in heart, and one in affections. And whatever sacrifces you may hereafter be required to make to preserve this mutual love, always make them generously.
Sacrifice is usually difficult and irksome. Only love can make it easy; and perfect love can make it a joy. We are willing to give in proportion as we love, and when love is perfect the sacrifice is complete. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son; and the Son so loved us that He gave Himself for our salvation. "Greater love than this no man has, than that he lay down his life for his friends."
No greater blessing can come to your married life than pure conjugal love, loyal and true to the end. May, then, this love with which you join your hands and hearts today never fail, but grow deeper and stronger as the years go on. And if true love and the unselfish spirit of perfect sacrifice guide your every action, you may epect the greatest measure of earthly happiness that may be allotted to man in this vale of tears. The rest is in the hands of God, Nor will God be wanting to your needs; He will pledge you the life-long support of His graces in the Holy Sacrament which you are now going to receive."