The love God has for his people is intense, all-consuming, a torrential force of love that is poured out from His heart and on to us. His love is not deserved, earned, or ours to claim as if we were entitled to it. No, it is a freely given gift from a good and merciful God who loves us like crazy.
Flesh and Bones Rock!
As we read in Genesis 2:18-24, in the beginning God created Man. Yet, Man was all alone, and God said it was not good for him to be alone. The animals were not like him; they were not made in the image of God. So, God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep and from his side He formed Woman.
I can just see Adam saying Woohoo! I have found my other self! Here is one who is flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone! I can also see Woman winking at him as she watched him with joyful amusement. Eve completed him and made him whole. He found his pleasure in relationship to his other self.
God created man in His own image, the Divine image, as we read in Genesis 1:26-27. This Man could now have an intimate relationship with God, just as Christ does with His Church. In Genesis 2:21-23 we see how God took Man, a whole being, separated him into male and female, and brought them together to make Man whole again. So, in the beginning, God willed that the two become one.
Husband as a Type of Christ and Wife as a Type of Church
Ephesians 5:23-30 says that the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head and savior of His Church. Here, Jesus tells husbands how to be to their wives; as He is to His Bride. Though God has no need for anything or anyone, He is very happy to have a relationship with His body, the Church. We might say this Body, the Bride, completes the Headship, the Groom, which is Christ Jesus, the Lord. The Groom loves His Bride and shows it through His sacrificing love by suffering to give all of Himself for her benefit. Nothing is held back. His love perfects Her and makes Her one with Him. Could we then say that a man’s all-sacrificing, enthusiastic love would therefore perfect his bride, his beloved, the one who he is joined together with in the Sacrament of Matrimony? I believe yes!
What woman would not fall head over heels for the man who would cherish her above all other relationships, above all other things? Just as a sinner turns with great gratitude to our merciful Lord when he realizes and accepts the gift of God’s merciful love, would not a woman also turn fully to her husband when she realizes the sacrificing, selfless love her husband gives to her? Again, yes!
What Does This Love Look Like?
How can we recognize it? This love can be defined as the giving to another even when one desires it for himself instead. It is the forgiving of another even when wronged; even woefully wronged. It is recognized when we truly live out Saint Paul\’s definition of love (Cf. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7). This love exists even when one feels the need for the strength of God Himself to carry their cross of love. Again, it also exists when they feel the need to go to God on their knees begging for mercy to carry on even more than they already do, until God wills the suffering and sacrificing to pass.
The Sacrament of Matrimony and all that it holds is such a beautiful, beautiful mystery to me. I understand as much as has been revealed to me, yet vaguely do I understand this love that God has for us and His desire to share it in the love between a husband and wife. I will always strive and do my best to obtain it completely in this life with my husband before we both join our Lord at the wedding feast of the Lamb. Our blessed Sacrament is meant for the perfecting of both of us to become saints so that we can glorify God, along with our children, for all eternity.
Love between spouses makes the cross of marital love so much sweeter to carry, but is oh so bitter when that cross is borne alone in a marriage. Only by the grace of God can one carry it. The good news is that the Church promises special graces for the Sacrament of Matrimony for those who have celebrated it. There is no other union stronger, more intimate than the two who have become one. This Sacrament is so strong and so intimate that the intercessory prayers of one spouse for the other holds within it the very power of God, and can move impossible mountains and obstacles. It is the same as the union of God with His Bride, the Church, a holy and indissoluble oneness of husband and wife. With God in the center of a husband and wife, the full power of God exists for the salvation of each spouse.
Yes, the love of God for His people is an intense, all-consuming, and a torrential force of love. It is in the heat of this sacrificial fire of love that the two shall become one.
O Lord God, grant me the fullness of your sacramental graces of love for this marriage I share with my Beloved, for the times when we are together and for when we are apart from one another. Help me to love as You do, to give as You do, to be You in this marriage You have given me, for the sake of my Beloved. Amen.