Monday, November 12, 2007

God of the Living

A magnificent piece by Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap, the Pontifical Household preacher.
According to this vision, matrimony does not entirely end with death but is transfigured, spiritualized -- it loses those limits that mark life on earth -- in the same way that the bonds between parents and children or between friends will not be forgotten. In the preface of the Mass for the dead, the liturgy says that with death "life is changed, not taken away"; the same must be said of marriage, which is an integral part of life.

But what about those who have had a negative experience of earthly marriage, an experience of misunderstanding and suffering? Should not this idea that the marital bond will not break at death be for them, rather than a consolation, a reason for fear? No, for in the passage from time to eternity the good remains and evil falls away. The love that united them, perhaps for only a brief time, remains; defects, misunderstandings, suffering that they inflicted on each other, will fall away. Many spouses will experience true love for each other only when they will be reunited "in God," and with this love there will be the joy and fullness of the union that they did not know on earth. This is also what happens to the love between Faust and Margaret in Goethe's story: "Only in heaven the unreachable -- that is, the total and pacific union between two creatures who love each other -- will become reality." In God all will be understood, all will be excused, all will be forgiven.

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2 comments:

alaughland said...

Yes, but what about that anecdote in the New Testament referring to the occasion when someone asked Jesus what happens in the resurrection to a man who was married to two different women in life....who will he be married to in heaven. The answer was that in heaven people are linked as husband and wife.

elena maria vidal said...

I think the Scripture passage cited was in reference to the woman who had been married seven times. and Our Lord said: "They shall be like angels, not marrying and giving in marriage." Fr Cantalamessa was saying that husband and wife shall have a special bond in eternity.