Today marks the end of National Marriage Week USA. It is no accident that its culmination falls on Valentine’s Day, which has long been regarded as a day to celebrate love. Indeed, love is a great gift; even more, love is “the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being” (Catechism, no. 1604). Every man and woman, created in the image of a God who is Love, is called to the vocation of love.
Reflecting on the gift of love moves us to reflect on the gift of marriage, which is a unique and privileged instance of love. As our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his encyclical Deus Caritas Est (God is Love), among the many meanings given to the word “love” today, “one in particular stands out: love between man and woman, where body and soul are inseparably joined and human beings glimpse an apparently irresistible promise of happiness. This would seem to be the very epitome of love” (no. 2).
Marriage is indeed a great gift, and a great witness to the beauty of love. The lifelong, life-giving bond formed between husband and wife is a great good not only for them, but also for any children who come from their union, and for all of society. As National Marriage Week USA draws to a close, I encourage each of you to continue praying that all in our nation would recognize and protect the unique beauty of marriage.
May the Lord bless you abundantly,
Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone
Bishop of Oakland
Chairman, Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage
True love is only from God; it is a gift from God that flows through what is called the Human Life Continuum which flows from God through our spirit and through our cognition to others.
Emotional love is amplified by the Human Life Continuum to a degree that is unlimited; and, that is dependent only upon the degree to which our cognitive state is in accordance with the Will of God.
Emotional attachment outside of the Human Life Continuum, irrespective of the intensity of emotion is not love; albeit it is reflective of the immutable spiritual need for love; as love is only from God through the Human Life Continuum.
For God’s love to flow through the Human Life Continuum it is required that our cognition be in conformity with the absolute laws of God and thereby be connected to God to thereby allow God’s love to flow.
This means that cognitive states that are not in accordance with God’s Will disconnect from God disallowing the flow of God’s love through the Human Life Continuum.
It is only in accordance with the Will of God, as manifest in our immutable architecture, that a person may realize their full gifted potential from God. Our path to the realization of the potential of our human lives is soundly supported within our sacrament of marriage. This means that we are each other’s path to heaven through our holy sacrament of marriage.