Friday, June 17, 2011

Well, I've got Anne-Marie

This has not been the easiest week of my life (nor nearly the hardest), but just now while telling her over the phone about another set back, my wife said a bunch of encouraging things, but the best one, the most powerful one, was, "I love you."

That's good enough for me, though it wasn't always. Amidst all the setbacks and disappointments that life can bring - and inevitably does - if you have someone's love, that makes a real difference. Fortune cannot off-set lovelessness, but love can off-set misfortune. Anne-Marie loves me because I'm poor. Read that the correct way, and think about it, if you need to.

In a month we will be marking our twelfth anniversary, and, God willing, the birth of our fifth child. Our marriage is on a stronger footing now than its ever been. Every marriage is unique, of course, has its own history. In our case, two very dysfunctional kids got married, and had to bear with the decision for a dozen years. We grew up eventually. Slowly. She is much wiser than I, but I too am no longer a kid, I think. In the previous post I mentioned Maja's "I am third." I'm not sure exactly how that should work out in every situation, but I know that her happiness is at least as important as mine. I don't want to insist on an unhealthy sense of self-annihilation by this. Some people go into marriage with this idea in mind. But your spouse is not Christ. Save that mentality for religious life, if that is your calling. It doesn't fit well into marriage. I've seen that kind of thinking only lead to resentment in the self-sacrificer and an unreal concept of life, an unhealthy moral life, in the one being sacrificed to. We have to live with each other. Let's develop and honest idea of what we are capable of giving and of what we are not. That is the sort of self-disclosure that healthy communication and development begin upon.

A Totally Unrelated Post-Script

Newman was the most important Catholic theologian since Duns Scotus, or Ockham perhaps, but that latter choice seems weird since he was so unCatholic in some ways.

Imagine, the most important Catholic theologian in the last 600 + years was Newman!

Duns Scotus, a photograph.

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