I read the following meditation by Caryll Houselander in today’s Magnificat and thought it was so very insightful and beautiful:
In the fact of loving at all, there is for us, fallen creatures, an element of suffering. We realize the frailty of those we love, the million evil chances that threaten them. We are haunted by the fear of loss, of parting. By a strange paradox, falling in love brings us a new realization of our own nothingness, our helplessness to do, even to be, what we would, for the beloved. Only the sacrament of matrimony in which in a mysterious way God re-creates two as one, in his own love, can overcome this nothingness…
The lover is like the craftsman: he has to give himself to years of discipline, of patient work and perseverance, in order to attain his skill.There must be countless new beginning, the exacting process of habit-forming, with its repeated denials of self, until at last his mind and eye and hand work in harmony on the material that he knows, as he knows his own soul. Just so is the lot of the lover, who has life for his material, life that sin has twisted, so that it is like wood that is knotted and warped. Yet on this material he acquires the skill that makes the craftsman an artist and enables him to fashion his own life into a thing of sheer beauty, and not his own life only, but the lives of those dear to him.
And by the way, this masterful description of the hopes, fears, and sacrifices requisite to married love was written by a woman who never married!