An Epic Romance

Posted by on Apr 5, 2012 in Blog/Articles | 0 comments

I’ve been reading this extraordinary book about a couple that are inexhaustibly dedicated to keeping the burning flame of their love alive. In the beginning of their lives together, they’re mostly unaware pagans. As their story progresses, they eventually both convert to Christianity. It’s a sublimely touching tale, to say the least. In the beginning of their lives together, they pledge to keep their love fresh and protected by “The Shining Barrier,” as they call it. Ultimately, they conclude that having children would be too much of a hindrance and children would come between them, thus compromising the state of their “Shining Barrier.”

            “Ah,” I thought to myself, “how many lovers today think the same!” And the fault is not their own. On the contrary, the fault lies with the married couples who have made poor examples of themselves by neglecting the beautiful little garden that once was their gloriously passionate and romantic marriage. Children should not feel like the wedge that comes between mother and father. Nay, they should feel like the incredibly wonderful results that they are of such a blissfully magnificent, perpetual romance.
            Many parents find themselves lost in a devouring plethora of duties and responsibilities to their children and, all the while, the garden of their precious romance, once so lovely to behold, begins to die and gradually wither away until, one day, husband and wife wake up to find that they hardly know one another anymore. How daft! It is daft! It’s horrendous! And they usually either choose to plug along and accept the mediocrity of living as “roommates,” or, eventually, divorce. Infidelity or any other sin committed against the spouse is just the outcome, it is the rotten fruit expected of a dying or, already dead marriage garden.

So many of our younger generations have taken away this disfigured, horrifying view of the married state as what marriage is essentially about. It’sno wonder our societies are in the chaotic state that they are. After all, every society begins with a little family. Here is the heart, the core of every great empire or prominent kingdom; the family.
Look into the little home down the street, watch the families at Sunday Mass, and you may just catch a glimpse of what I mean. Even Christian families aren’t perfect. In fact, it is with the greatest reluctance that I assert that many Christian marriages suffer from this “Dead Garden Syndrome” as well. Just as George Washington once said that one must “Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience,” one must labor to keep alive in one’s breast that consuming celestial fire called love.

Ah, love! How beautiful, when understood in its original, unscathed glory! One sees love truly when he endures the strain, abandoning the impulse to see life through his own narrow spectacles, and strives to see life through the perfect lenses of Heaven.

Marriage is meant to be a powerful expression of true love. In fact, it’s meant to be the ultimate human summit of all love. In what other relationship will two totally unconnected people choose to the love one another? The startling acknowledgment must be made: In a way, we are required to love our parents and our siblings. We had no choice in loving them. We pretty much had to. Romantic love is so fascinating to the human mind and soul, because of its requirement of selflessness, that tender reaching out, caring for someone that one is not necessarily “required” to care for. And much arises from this choice to love. The most obvious is one’s vulnerability to being hurt. When I decide to love a cactus, well, that’s just dandy. It won’t necessarily hurt me, unless I’m stupid enough to touch it. The point is that while that inanimate object may be able to wound my body, it cannot wound my soul. When one chooses to love another, it is just that: a choice. It is like the great leap of faith that one takes when trusting in God with a terribly difficult decision; it is terrible glory. Terrible, because of the risk required and glorious because of the risk required and the chance to have a beautiful outcome!Conjugal love is the embodiment of the enticing romance that exists between Christ and the individual human soul. It’s breathtaking, to be sure, when understood in its absolute entirety which is why; even the completely secular soul subconsciously senses the sacred in romance, usually so much as to uphold it as God or, at least, a god. Little do they know that they are being deluded. To grasp the in-depth and awe inspiring Center of this love seems to be our natural reaction as human beings, but we often mistake the Center of Love as the human soul that we choose to love.
     Who chose to love first? Who took the leap of faith, that terribly glorious leap, first? There must be a primordial example from which this love originated. Indeed, there is! God chose that terribly glorious leap first; it was He who taught us to love without fear, to take the risk, even if it should lead to pain…even in its most excruciatingly torturous form, even in death. He loved so greatly, He Who is Love. Only a Romancer would give us babbling brooks, whispering willows, dazzling starlight. So few recognize The Almighty for Who He truly is; the most passionate Romancer the world has ever known. He would choose to let Himself be wounded. With bravery so perfect and so incredibly absolute, He would dare to let, not only His Body be wounded, but His very perfect, omnipotent, effulgent Soul, to the highest degree. A living pain so terrible, so gloriously terrible, that it led Him into the arms of death. But even death could not stop this King, this Prince’s perfect fealty, His absolutely perfect Love. Even death could not beguile this wounded Lover to resign Himself to rest. He fought death, and arose…victorious.

Only Love would allow Himself to be mercilessly flogged and nailed to a tree, only Love would humble Himself so profoundly as to be made manifest in mere food, bread and wine, to be through us, with us, in us, loving us, in all selflessness, to life.

This is the glorious romance. If God should labor to such an extent to prove His Love for us, continually beguiling, enchanting, captivating, then how much we should labor to keep The Garden of Marriage, that beautiful, mystical Sacrament, alive and well, lovely and miraculous. It is the mirror of the Sacrament of Holy Communion, where The Bridegroom comes to be one flesh with His bride. Heaven meets earth on the sacred marriage bed of the altar, and the Gift of Life flows from the passionate union of The Bridegroom and His Bride. Let the children that flow from so radiant a love be what they truly are; the marvelous result, the highest degree of the expression of an epic romance.

Love consists in this: it is not we who loved God, but God loved us and sent his Son to expiate our sins.  My dear friends, if God loved us so much, we too should love one another.  No one has ever seen God, but as long as we love one another God remains in us and his love comes to its perfection in us. 
-1 John 4:10-12