Years ago, I was in one of those moods, and I asked my husband why he loved me.
His response? “Because you love me.”
I was quite perturbed by his response. “What are you saying, you only love me because I love you? That’s the best you can do?”
“What do you want me to say?”
“Well, do you have other reasons for loving me?”
“I guess I was expecting something like, ‘Because you make me laugh’…”
“Okay, because you make me laugh.”
I don’t know that I ever got what I wanted to hear.
As I’ve matured through the years, I’ve realized it doesn’t matter what his answer is. I know I am loved, period. I know that he loves me — all of me — my insecurities, my inadequacies, my faults, my quirks.
As I’ve matured, I’ve found too, that I can respond that way now. I love him because he loves me.
Fr. Dubay writes about how conversion happens….
More commonly the path to truth and moral goodness is gradual.
…. and the motivation behind people’s conversions.
That simple fact points to the sheer goodness and beauty of the saints, those who live heroically well what Catholicism is and teaches… Only truth can produce these heroes and heroines with their burning love, radiant chastity, overflowing generosity, exquisite patience and fortitude, all that is lofty and noble. They are prime illustrations of the evidential power of beauty.
Yes, this. I’ve said before that I’m married to a saint, or an angel. He is indeed a beautiful soul, after 23 years I still don’t know what I did to deserve him.
People like Newman who study ecclesiastical history are aware of this symphony of beauty. They are struck with the wholeness, the unity and the inner radiance of divine revelation as it is preserved in the magisterial office established by Jesus himself Honest intellectuals seem especially attracted to the coherence, completeness and consistency of this otherworldly phenomenon.
… which made me think of another quote from another saint:
Late have I loved you, o Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace. – St. Augustine
There are many reasons I love God, but I suppose I can’t adequately put them into words either. It’s not just because he’s powerful and almighty and because he’s my Creator and my Deliverer and my King… often, I love Him simply because He loves me. He loved me first, and He continues to love me even when I am at my most unlovable.
And herein lies the motivation: I love because there can be no other response. No other response at all to be made, but that I love Him back.
I could probably write volumes on how God has infused the world with Himself, with BEAUTY. My friend, for instance, found God in a coral reef.
In the next few weeks, as part of my Lenten journey, I will stop and find five beautiful things each day that speak to me of God’s Beauty and Love.
More thoughts on Love, Husbands and Fatherhood:
and a couple of threads from our homeschooling forum that I was reminded of as I wrote this post: