Prata raised a point yesterday that talks about unconditional love. I have heard the phrase, but I have not felt unconditional love. Okay, I have a disadvantage. I don’t have kids. You see, I have seen others love their kids, and in some circumstances, they may experience something close to unconditional love. I have seen mothers, after hearing their children have killed lots of people, still love their children deeply. “I feel sorry for the victims, but I will be holding Jimmy’s hand until he is executed by the state.” I don’t get it, but alas, I have no kids.
I also know a woman who gets beaten by her boy (he is 16 and stronger than she is). She is concerned for her boy, but her love seems constant, even though he has put her in the hospital more than once. Unconditional love? Beats me – but please don’t beat me. Sorry, bad joke. Again, a foreign concept to me.
When I was getting married, I went through an Engaged Encounter, and if you were married in the Catholic Church, you probably experience the same thing. For Catholics, it appears that marriage involves conditions. Two, in fact: (1) mutual support, and (2) open to children. Neither condition mentions love.
Okay, I am a sucker for good movies. And this reminds me of a song in “Fiddler on the Roof.” Tevye (the main character) explains that even though theirs was an arranged marriage, his parents said they would soon learn to love each other anyway. The song that accompanies the dialog is “Do You Love Me?”. The very touching song ends with the lines:
Tevye: So you love me?
Golde (his wife): I suppose I do.
Tevye: Then I suppose I love you too.
Together: It doesn't change a thing. But even so, after twenty-five years, it's nice to know.
I really think that doing loving things for someone helps in fostering loving feelings. And that is what the song is about.
I am not sure love is an essential ingredient of a successful marriage, or if it is important, it is the most important thing. That is, it does not predict if a marrage is to succeed.
Unconditional love? Not sure I know what it is. But a good marriage – I can feel that in my bones. And it is not because hubbie buys me flowers when I least expect them. When he does this, he is opening up to me. When I give him a back scratch even though I am as tired as he is, I am performing a loving task, and it opens me up to being closer to him.
One can argue that my church is antequated, past its prime. That’s fine. What is nice is that people can choose their religion themselves, based on the shared views of the religion. Catholisism is not meant to be all inclusive. Inclusiveness has a price tag – one sacrificies meaning and importance for inclusiveness. Okay, you don’t believe in transfiguration? No problem. Well, then that diminishes the role of transfiguration in the Church.
Getting back to “Fiddler on the Roof.” I have seen an arranged marriage. The one is not a happy marriage – but they all were not tragic dramas. Take a look at “Fiddler.” Except for the fact that the Czar is throwing them off of their land, there is a happy ending. Well, not so happy. Actually, it is sort of funny, now that I look back on it, that I am using a Jewish example for this. But Judaism is the mother of Catholisism.
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