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Monday, August 14, 2006

Dietrich von Hildebrand on Conjugal Love: Happy Anniversary Rhea!

Image and video hosting by TinyPicToday Rhea and I celebrate our 14 years of marriage together having been blessed with six children (3 boys and 3 girls) as a result of the bond of affection and love that God established between us. Marriage is a great mystery and it is on this day that I am reminded to look back and see how I have not been as faithful a husband as I should have been. 'An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.' I have graciously been given this gift from God in a woman that I didn't deserve. Love is work and the mystery of this bond requires great attention given to the mystery of Christ's love for the Church. von Hildebrand offers the following remarks on Conjugal love. For more, read it all here.




Conjugal love reveals the whole being of the beloved
The fact also that this love can arise quite suddenly, and even develop to maturity at the first encounter of two persons, emphasizes the typical contrast between this and any other kind of love. In this love, the personality of the beloved is instantaneously revealed as a complete unity. Our eyes are able to penetrate the other much more deeply than in the ordinary way when our glance is distracted by innumerable trifling objects and dulled by a grey everyday atmosphere. This never goes beyond the outer aspect. Just as in supernatural love of our neighbor we penetrate at one glance to that innermost, mysterious essence of the other person in which, through all his imperfections, pettiness, arrogance, and triviality he reflects God, so in natural conjugal love the real individuality of the partner is mysteriously revealed. The deep, secret meaning which permeates all his gifts and talents, the whole rhythm of his being, is disclosed at one glance through all his imperfections. One understands, so to speak, the divine plan underlying the creation of this particular individuality, just as in love of neighbor one understands the general meaning, of a free, spiritual person, created by God after His own image in a particular individual.

It is true, of course, that all love implies a deeper understanding of the other person, a deeper grasp of his real being which shines but imperfectly through many veils and weaknesses. Nothing is more mistaken than the adage, "Love is blind." Love is that which gives us sight, revealing to us even the faults of the other in their full import and causing us to suffer because of them. But conjugal love reveals to us intuitively the whole being of the other in a mysteriously lucid unity. It not only shows us individual praiseworthy traits but also the particular charm of his individuality as a whole, which permeates everything and characterizes the essence of his being - a charm which can only be completely understood by the complementary person and can have its full significance for him alone.
Almighty Father, who has hallowed the ordinance of marriage to the blessing of mankind: Give thy grace to us who are joined together as husband and wife, that we may be faithful in love to one another, and live in obedience to thy will; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicWe will be celebrating our anniversary at Lumley Castle pictured here. We will attend the Elizabethan Banquet and I know the food will be just wonderful and the company even better! Make sure you click on the guided tour at the bottom; this will be great fun!
I love you, Rhea!

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    O God, most glorious, most bountiful, accept, we humbly beseech thee, our praises and thanksgivings for thy holy Catholic Church, the mother of us all who bear the name of Christ; for the faith which it hath conveyed in safety to our time, and the mercies by which it hath enlarged and comforted the souls of men; for the virtues which it hath established upon earth, and the holy lives by which it glorifieth both the world and thee; to whom, O blessed Trinity (+), be ascribed all honour, might, majesty and dominion, now and for ever. Amen.
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