Monday, January 9, 2012

Progressive Love

Published on Facebook 03/17/2010.  I took this from Fulton J. Sheen's book Three To Get Married.  I thought it something people really ought to know in regards to love.  

The only really progressive thing in all the universe is love. And yet that which God made to bloom and blossom and flower through time and into eternity is that which is most often nipped in the bud. Perhaps that is the reason why artists always picture love as a little cupid who never grows up. Armed with only a bow and arrow in an atomic universe, the poor little angel has hardly a chance. St. Paul speaks of faith and hope disappearing in heaven, but love remaining forever. Yet that one thing that mortals want to be eternal is that which they most quickly choke before it has begun to walk. If a man came from Mars and had never heard of the greatest event in history, which was the birth of the Divine Love in the person of Christ, he probably could guess the rest of the story and predict His Crucifixion. All he would need to do would be to look at the way even the best of human loves are divorced, denied, mutilated, bartered, and stunted.
But if love be what the heart wants above all things else, why does it not grow in love? It is because most hearts want to love like a serpent, not like a bird. They want love on the same plane as the flesh, and not a love which wings its way from earth to mountain peak and then is lost in the sky. They want a love that, like Cupid, does not grow; not a love which dies in order to ascend, like the Risen Christ, Who accepts defeat and conquers it by Love. They want the impossible: repetition without satiety, which no human body can give. The refusal to surrender the horizontal for the vertical, because it demands sacrifice, condemns the heart to mediocrity and staleness. Love is no bargain. It appears so attractive, like a precious violin advertised at a low price, but one discovers that after one has it without much effort it is useless unless one disciplines himself to its use. The cross is a far better picture of what love really is than Cupid. The latter’s darts are shot in the dark in a moment when the heart least expects it; but the cross is something one sees on the roadway of life a long time ahead, and the invitation to carry it to a resurrection of love is frightening, indeed. That is why the Sacred Heart has so few lovers. They want that cross streamlined, without Him, Who said: “If any man has a mind to come my way, let him renounce self, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
The ascension of love in marriage proceeds through three stages, each of which has its transfiguration. These three loves are Eros, or sex love; personal love; and Christian love.

Fulton J. Sheen, Three to Get Married, pg. 103-104

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