LOVE’S ALL THAT MATTERS By Rev DANIEL A. LORD S.J.
We are a romantic age, no doubt of that. Our romantic instincts have been deliberately cultivated by the writers, the songsters, the motion-picture producers, our not always too wise elders. Into the lives of most people, we are told, there is bound to come a time when romantic love will seem to be all that matters. What possibly could then stand against it?
Sometimes it may be that this strong romantic attachment, this physical affection that can combine with a strong desire for union of lives, may mean that the two people can marry and remain contentedly married for life.
The first impulse is backed by a lot of important things. There are tastes that match and backgrounds that dovetail. There are souls that command respect, and there is virtue that gives that respect.
That is the culmination of a dignified wooing that brings the young couple to that altar of God where a sacrament consecrates their lives. Splendid.
But if it should be that the romantic attachment comes in the form of merely a major emotional disturbance . . . . . if a thousand reasons cry out that this is not really love at all but fascination and infatuation . . . . if for all their physical and romantic urge the man and the woman would clearly not make each other durably happy or would enter marriage at costs too heavy to pay. . . .
For this romantic attraction may well come to people who should not under any circumstances let it lead them further. The quick flash of fascination may come when one of the pair is already married. Sounder judgment may shake a warning finger and cry out, “This won’t work.”
Literature has never been quite sure whether a person in a state of emotional enthrallment is a comic or a tragic figure.
Usually he or she is a little of both. For undoubtedly romance has a way of vastly exaggerating. The fascination that seems like true love makes the other person totally desirable. Longing and misery become twin companions.
The fascinating person looms so large that a shadow is cast over all else. Life itself seems for the time momentarily worthless without the fulfilment of what passes for love.
I don’t need to remind even a relatively thoughtless reader that the consequences of love are pretty durable . . . . . or should be.
Two young people look upon each other and feel the strong attraction. Each awakes in the other a mutual thrill; they find themselves electric in each other’s company, and the evening passes like a fairy-tale second. Yet this is only a beginning. Out of this love may come marriage, long years of companionship, the founding of a home and the establishment of a family.
Despite the old song, the climax of life together is not the honeymoon. And if the honeymoon fades swiftly away, leaving . . .’sadder maids, and wiser men,’ . . . they are right to feel that they have allowed themselves to be tricked.
SADDER MAIDS, WISER MEN
Real love is a permanent attraction based not only on the physical fascination but on mutual respect. It is meant to be the opening gate to a long and stable relationship. It is God’s invitation to the sacrament of matrimony, which sacrament becomes in turn the beginning of a life of beautiful partnership in the creation of domestic peace and virtues and human life.
Fascination can be tricky. Love must be trustworthy enough to be used as the foundation of an entire new life.
“Youth is at the same time the most beautiful and the most dangerous period of life; it can be the most blessed, or the most fatal of seasons. It is the time of poetry and romance, of dreams and visions, of aspirations and ambitions, of the noblest impulses and the grandest resolves. But it is also the season of inexperience and immaturity, of impulsiveness and impetuosity, of conceit, of hasty ideas, undigested plans and precipitate action. By one heroic decision a young person can lay the foundations of future greatness; and by one misstep a youth can start headlong and irresistibly to utter and irretrievable ruin.”-Rev. Fulgence G. Meyer, 1920’s
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