The Joy of Yes Forever
In my now second post, I want to reflect upon Pope Francis’ Address to engaged couples this past Valentines Day. First of all, how awesome would it of been to be surrounded by 10,000 faithful Catholic engaged couples, in St. Peter’s Square, all awaiting to be greeted by our dearly loved Pope Francis? It must have been so amazing to be in the presence of so many individuals who, like yourself, still see the sacredness and dignity of marriage and find it deserving of utmost respect, unlike so many in our society today. Let us all put ourselves in the shoes of these 10,000 engaged couples. Here we are, standing beside our beloved whom we have promised to marry and devote our life to unreservedly, and what does Pope Francis have to say to us?
“Is it possible to love one another ‘forever’?”, He asks.
As Pope Francis observes, our society tells us “No“. Young people today are too afraid of making definitive decisions that will affect them for the rest of their lives. We live in fear of “forever”. Instead, we assert that will we stay with our beloved until the “spark fades” or until we just “don’t feel the same way” anymore. It’s absolutely true, we live in the throwaway culture. Our society has given us an easy enough way out of things with no-fault divorce hasn’t it? What we fail to see is that in this mentality, we have defined love as an emotion, or as Pope Francis calls it, a “psycho-physical state”. Of course if we define love in this way there is no possible way we can ever love anyone forever! Emotions change, fade and renew themselves, day by day, minute by minute. If this is how we define love forget marriage, we can’t even have friendships. I myself, as a young person in this society, as a member of the “Millennial” generation, am far from satisfied with the definition of love society is offering me and the inevitable destruction of any possible relationships in my life. So then how should we perceive love in our relationships? If we cannot build relationships on emotions, then what else do we have?
Pope Francis answers us with words full of truth, hope and pure joy:
“If instead love is a relationship, then it is a growing reality, and we can also say, by way of example, that it is built in the same way that we build a house: We build a house together, not alone!…You would not wish to built it on the shifting sands of emotions, but on the rock of true love, the love that comes from God.”
God’s love for us is infinite, unconditional, stable and everlasting. What better foundation do have offered to us to build our life on than this? We should never fear “forever”. We should rejoice if God has blessed us by giving us someone to share our lives with and trust that He will provide for us everything necessary to walk this journey of life together. In no way is anyone claiming that this journey will be easy, on the contrary, it will be difficult. However, the grace of God is always enough. So let us set our sights on Heaven and behold our beloved as our partner on this pilgrimage toward our final destination.
“This fear of ‘forever’ is cured by entrusting oneself day by day to the Lord Jesus in a life that becomes a daily spiritual path of common growth, step by step….The more you entrust yourselves to the Lord, the more your love will be “forever”, able to renew itself and to overcome every difficulty.”
Our last piece of advice our Holy Father gives to us for this particular blog post is this:
“In the Our Father prayer we say, ‘Give us this day our daily bread.” Couples may also learn to pray, ‘Give us this day our daily love’, teach us to love each other, to care for each other.”
We must begin each day anew, asking for the Lord’s mercy and seeking His grace so that we may again entrust ourselves to His loving care. We should never fear the plan the Lord has for us, for surely if He has blessed us by presenting to us a soul with whom we are to share our life with, whom we are to become one-flesh with, then He will also provide for us the tools for the journey. Let us be not afraid of commitment or self-giving to the one God has called us to. Instead let us walk with our beloved, learning to love, growing in relationship, and surrendering all for the sake of getting them to Heaven.