Like both Sheldon Vanauken and C. S. Lewis I can’t imagine Agape or Eros coming twice. I’m still very much married to Patricia and still very much in love with her. I shall be forever. Patricia and I were lucky enough to discover that quiet, intense love that is basic to life itself. Yes, Eros or Romantic love – the love of Chick films – brought us together. Cupid’s arrow made us interested in each other and that November 15th, 1968 we were both ready and looking for a relationship. We wanted each other in the Biblical sense.
Pat wrote just before Christmas 1968: “As a male, you attract me. The physical side of our relationship strikes me as complete, satisfying and contenting. This is a valuable thing, and not everybody achieves it.” Eros is emotion, sexual passion and very intense and yes, unstable. It is of the body. Okay, young lovers think it is forever but, to be of the soul it needs to be tempered and purified in the furnace of the soul like fine steel. The soul and God in Marriage makes you soulmates by refining and purifying the self and soul – folding the egos together, folding them into each other over and over again. The soulmates become one “they” becomes “we”. They are tied together by the red string of Fate and God in marriage refines the “we” in the heat and passion and in their joining in the heat of creation. At the death of one, the departed beloved soul shelters the surviving soul and works with it to continue their bond of agape love. Death is truly giving the body for the other. The final Love and majesty will come with the death of the surviving partner.
The true signs of soulmates are:
• a conscious decision to become “one”;
• facing the world as one;
• communicating soul to soul without speaking;
• a searching for God and US;
• an innate emotional trust in each other;
• unconditional love of each other;
• commitment to each other’s interests and good.
Sex becomes Eucharistic. “This is my body given for you, a drawing near to the other with all that one has and is; in conscious love; to give the inner most gift of oneself in the most intimate foretaste of divine union that can be known in human flesh “– Cynthia Bourgeault.
“LOVE AND DEATH HAVE A COMMON ROOT,” says Ladislaus Boros. “The best love stories end in death, and this is no accident. Love is, of course, and remains the triumph over death, but that is not because it abolishes death but because it is itself death. Only in death is the total surrender that is love’s possible, for only in death can we be exposed completely and without reserve. That is why lovers go so simply and unconcernedly to their death, for they are not entering a strange country; they are going into the inner chamber of love.” — From Love is stronger than Death by Cynthia Bourgeault.
Yes, our love continues beyond the grave after all we gave before God a pledge of pure and endless love through Jesus Christ our Lord. Then the Priest said:
“O Eternal God, Creator and Preserver of all mankind, Giver of all spiritual grace, the Author of everlasting life: Send thy blessing upon these thy servants, this man and this woman, whom we bless in thy Name; that they may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made, and may ever remain in perfect love and peace together, and live according to thy laws; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Our Love did not die with her; it survives in both of us – it sustains me in my grief, in our grief. She dwells within me and is constantly with me in my dreams. I walk with her daily and I always will. Patricia holds my hand and guides me to our place in Heaven. When my light returns with the dawn she will take me in her arms and wake me with a gentle kiss.