Sunday, July 11, 2021

Wherefore art thou?

 Been thinking of Romeo and Juliet tonight. Some people say it's an incredible LOVE STORY, in capital letters. I've always considered it a tragedy. A tale of rebellion, obsession, and suicide. They first defied their parents to even meet each other. That very first rebellion led to their deaths. Some will say, "Yes, but they got to LOVE." Uh-huh. A possessive, obsessive "love"; insular, yet uncommunicative. They killed themselves grasping at that love. They each thought they'd found their soulmate. 

Nonsense. You don't just find a soulmate; you make one. There is not one someone out there made just for you; someone with "Your Soulmate" tattooed on their forehead. The only Soulmate made just for any of us is our Sweet Jesus. You're compatible with many people: it's how you view them, how you treat them that makes them your soulmate. Cultivate your own virtues so you can see their's.

You meet someone; you hit it off. Pretty soon you're giddy in love; ready to say "yes" to anything. Most of us get married in that state. Are you soulmates? You think so. The endorphins are roiling; you're over the moon with love and happiness on your wedding day! But it doesn't stay that way. It's too exhausting to wake on top of the world every day. The honeymoon ends and the marriage starts. THAT'S when you begin to make your soulmate. 

In the forge of quotidian duties soulmates are fashioned. You're no longer in a transient, giddy relationship; you've settled into a stable, secure, abiding kind of love. Or should. If you don't get distracted by circumstances, or give up when the road is rough. Some of us go into marriage with an "escape plan" in case our partner doesn't "measure up" over time. This leads to - foments - divorce. A wedding should be a solemn exchanging of a VOW. A heart-meant oath to choose this person and to keep choosing this person day after day. A party on the beach or whatever trivializes that choice. It dances around the Sacrament of Marriage, mocking it all the way.

Soulmates are MADE in the daily. Working together through children and chores and chaos. Always wanting the best for and believing the best of the other. Couples who cannot do this often decide on a "civil divorce". The very idea is hogwash! Firstly, it's an oxymoron. Divorce involves ripping one flesh into two bodies - there is NOTHING "civil" about that. Secondly, a civil divorce is granted by the State. What has the State to do with love or the lack of it? It shouldn't have anything to do with it. Marriage is initiated in the eyes of GOD; and only He should be the One to end it. His Church will grant an annulment of marriage in a relatively few cases. It does not grant the dissolution of marriage.

I KNOW that Bill and I are soulmates. We've been through fire together. High-risk pregnancies, the discovery of a mental illness, disability, harsh money woes, too many illnesses to count. And we continue to choose each other. Every day. He's my best hope of getting to Heaven and I am his (he's knocking  off a LOT of Purgatory time just doing life with me).  We've been through things that could have torn us apart if we hadn't clung to our REAL Soulmate, the ever-living God. He's ever-living within us. That's how we've managed to stay in our marriage  for a quarter-century.

You see, marriage is a triangle. The spouses are at the bottom two corners; God is at the narrow point at the top. As the spouses move closer to God, they move closer to each other. Up the triangle as it narrows. When you find God, you find the other. A cord of three strands is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12). Romeo and Juliet chose death before divorce. A tragedy either way. But they were doomed from the start; they were missing a Strand.

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