We've all heard the addage "Life begins with marriage" and that is so true, but not in the sense that couples start to really live and enjoy each other, but rather in holy marriages, life truly begins through the miracle of conception. The whole reason for marriage, for human sexuality within the sacrament, is for procreation. It is the true "cycle of life," not the one promoted in the "Lion King," but rather promoted by God in Genesis 2: 23-25, for as He caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep, He created woman from the flesh of Adam's ribs and God ordained the result of Eve as "good" and as one flesh. Therefore, they become one flesh again when they commit to Conjugal Love for the will of God that offspring will result from their love.
Just as "Both the man and his wife were naked, but they felt no shame" so also a husband and wife should have no shame in revealing all of themselves physically, mentally and spiritually. This does not pertain only to the early stages of marriage when the physical is the main attraction, but later in life as well when the cellulite is more noticeable, the love handles more ample, the hair thinner and grayer, the bones more brittle, the mind a little slower, the impulses not as strong, the arthritis more severe, the nerves more frayed, and various infirmities that slow us down considerably. It is in those later years when true love blossoms into the full beauty of love for the spiritual has reached the same plane as the physical. Subsequently, when that happens the physical takes on a new level of excitement, a new ecstasy that only God can provide and does.
While it is true that physical attraction naturally decreases in the marriage, it does not mean it dies. Too many discard a marriage after they have gotten all they can out of it and they cannot squeeze anything more out of it, out of their spouse. That is not a marriage, but an arrangement, sadly under vows, in which one or both were selfish and, whatever their intentions, sex within such a marriage is not love but lust. This mentality of fleeting love or "convenient love" has been passed down by a society that has become corrupt.
Think about it, the more we are loyal to our spouses, the more sexually transmitted disease will disappear. The more we uphold the sanctity of marriage by loving our spouses so completely, the more will others follow suit and uphold the sanctity of life by seeing the absurdity, the obscenity of abortion, of artificial birth control, of illicit sex.
The more family is promoted within the confines of the nurturing parents, the more sodomy and lesbianism will go the way of the dinosaur for the world will see these abnormalities for what they truly are: degenerate and contrary to the laws of God's natural order.
The more parents love each other, the more their children will understand the sacredness of sex and save themselves for that special someone.
The more who practice this chaste lifestyle, the more will become eligible for finding the right person to share their lives with, to grow together in love on all levels.
The more true Conjugal Love is upheld in all its radiance and beauty, the more children will be wanted and borne.
The more children who are born into this family of love, the more will come to cultivate a deeper love for God and vocations to the religious life will once again flourish abundantly.
The more God is brought into their lives fully from the mundane everyday to the sacred marriage bed, the more this permeates to all who the couple come in contact with. It is a fever of faith!
Like a ripple in the water, the fruits of Conjugal Love will expand outward to encompass first family, then close friends, then their parish, then community and outward ever further.
The more who follow this formula for loving their spouse, the more will return to Jesus and His Holy Church.
The more who return, the more charisms of the Holy Spirit will blossom within the Mystical Body of Christ and countless more will be brought into the fold of the One True Church.
The more who understand this, the more they will comprehend the intrinsic role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the everyday life of the Church and family.
The more who grasp this will experience the Triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart in their hearts - for it is a process of one heart at a time - intuitively and mystically, the more God can work in their lives. It will be the closest thing to Heaven on earth. No, marital bliss isn't the perfect utopia, but it is the closest thing to it for finite married couples who have been given the greatest pleasures God could grant.
There is a price for these priceless pearls of passion. Oh, yes. It must be earned. It isn't just given away. It is too precious for such a cheap, insincere venue as that. The price is total commitment to God and spouse. That's all it costs. To some that does not seem overwhelming but well within the budget of their soul; for others the cost seems so steep that they may wonder if the dividends are worth it. We, as a couple, married for nearly twenty years, are here to share the wonderful, sacred news that it is definitely worth it and more no matter how your life has gone up to this point.
We are living examples of this spectrum for we have run the gamut. Madly in love when we married, we struggled financially in those early years and that kept us close despite bankrupt conditions that tested our mettle. But it was in our parents laying the solid foundation of our Faith and giving us both a healthy work ethic and strong moral values, that we were able to build on that and grow strong in body, mind and soul. But the journey was not easy for either. To encourage you that if we can do it anyone can, we will share with you in the next issue Michael's roller-coaster ride to the altar.
NEXT WEEK: Lesson Nine:
The Journey to the Altar