New Insights on the Gospels

March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Friday, June 4, 2010

Considerations of love in marriage - Dietrich von Hildebrand

Love's task in imperfect marriages

If, however, the combination of the two characters of man and wife does not offer the possibility for this conjugal love, if such ultimate inner unity cannot be achieved, the task for both partners becomes a different one. When such is the case, this quality of glowing conjugal love is not demanded of them - for the consorts cannot give this love to one another if it is not performed by God in the combination of their two characters. Their task here is to attain the highest communion within the limits of the possibilities of their individual case. They, too, must live for one another and avoid everything that could alienate or in any way separate them from one another. They must try to see each other in the highest light.

Love's task in troubled marriages

This holds all the more true for an unhappy marriage. If love is completely lacking on one side, or if one partner suffers from the other in every way - let us remember the marriage of St. Monica - the obligation to live up to the objective tie which the conclusion of marriage has created persists, in spite of the fact that the combination of the two partners does not make possible the realization of ideal conjugal love. The one Spouse can only love the other in a particular form of neighborly love - love him because it was with him that the tie of marriage was knit. The task in this special case consists primarily in sacrifice and renunciation and in care for the salvation of the other.

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