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Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Nuptial Mystery

I'm considering whether to review Cardinal Angelo Scola's new book, The Nuptial Mystery, about how God's design for marital love is to mirror, enflesh even, his own Trinitarian love between Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

In the meantime, I share some quotes, one on fidelity, especially when one spouse is abandoned by the other:

Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds
Or bends with the remover to remove... Shakespeare, Sonnet 116

And the other on the great, astounding worth of human life and our dulce lignum, dulce crucis...

Learning of the death of his wife:

Is the object of life only to live? Will the feet of God’s children be fastened to this wretched earth? It is not to live, but to die, and not to hew the cross, but to mount upon it, and to give all that we have, laughing! There is joy, there is freedom, there is grace, there is eternal youth! . . .What is the worth of the world compared to life? And what is the worth of life if not to be given? And why torment ourselves when it is so simple to obey? Where a plan is embraced, not even death is a defeat. It, too, becomes a call to freedom.

Quote cited by Card, A. Scola, taken from Paul Claudel’s The Tidings Brought to Mary.

(My apologies to Card. Scola for quoting not him directly, but only his citations. I sometimes can't help worrying that von Balthasar has a deep influence on the writing style of those who read him - maybe he should be indexed for this alone - all the more so if he himself so insists on the importance of beauty and simplicity!)

By the way, a few years back I remember thinking about writing an essay on how Shakespeare's sonnets mirror the teachings of Humanae Vitae and TOB (Theology of the Body). Has anyone heard of anything written on the subject? I know the chronology - poor Shakespeare was born in bad times when he could not have read Humanae Vitae, but if lectures can be entitled 'Darwin talks to Aquinas" then my essay can be entitled "HV talks to Shakespeare", or "S concurs with HV." Any commissions? No, of course not... such work must be done out of love...

So, as we are saying hello to this New Year, hats off to love!
I mean true, profound, faithful, life-long and fecund love open to life and anchored in God who is Love.