Friday, November 3, 2006

Parents and Children (Part II)

“The Beauty of Fidelity” October 21, 1942 Love is concerned with what is held in common and unites, not what divides, and is ready to rectify error or dissipate misunderstanding…Far from displaying its own superiority, love tactfully seeks counsel from its spouse, making it appear that if it has something to give it is also glad to receive. Hearts are given to each other forever. It is the heart, the heart above all, which feels the impulse to unite. And even when love survives the first trials of marriage intact, its sensitivity can diminish and at times even lose the flame of its ardor. Constancy and perseverance and love, in the daily giving of the gift of self, and, if need be, in prompt and complete forgiveness are the cornerstones of fidelity. If from the beginning there was true love and not only a selfish search for sensual satisfaction, this unchangeable love of the heart remains always young, never overcome by the passing years. Nothing is so edifying and delightful, nothing so moving, as the sight of those venerable couples who on their Golden Wedding anniversaries display a love calmer but yet deeper, even more tender, than youth. Fifty years of their love have passed. Working, living, suffering, praying together, they have learned how to know each other better, to discover in each true goodness, true beauty, the true passion of a devoted heart, and to discern even better what gives pleasure to the other. Hence those exquisite attentions, those pleasant little surprises, those countless “mere nothings” which appear childish only to those who do not recognize the grandeur and beautiful dignity of an immense love. This is fidelity in the mutual gift of the heart. Happy you must be, if it was or still is your privilege to witness such scenes among your grandparents. Perhaps as children you gently and lovingly played with them; but now your mind’s eyes have hovered over those memories with emotion and holy envy and with the hope of one day offering a similar scene to your own grandchildren. We sincerely hope so, and we ask God to grant you a long unfailing and joyous fidelity, while with all the effusion of our heart we impart our Apostolic Benediction. (Dear Newlyweds, p. 116-117)


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