The USCCB’s pastoral letter entitled, “Marriage – Love and Life in the Divine Plan” comments on how marriage reflects the life of the Trinity. Let me offer a quote for you to consider:
“First, like the Persons of the Trinity, marriage is a communion of love between co-equal persons, beginning with that between husband and wife and then extending to all members of the family…. This communion of life-giving love is witnessed within the life of the family, where parents and children, brothers and sisters, grandparents and relatives are called to live in loving harmony with one another and to provide mutual support to one another…. These relations among the persons in communion simultaneously distinguish them from one another and unite them to one another…. Therefore, just as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are distinctly who they are only in relation to one another, so a man and a woman are distinctly who they are as husband and wife only in relation to one another. At the same time, in a way analogous to the relations among Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which unites the three persons as one God, the inter-relationship of the husband and wife make them one as a married couple…. The Trinitarian image in marriage and family life can be seen in a second way. Just as the Trinity of persons is a life-giving communion of live both in relationship to one another and to the whole of creation, so a married couple shares in this life-giving communion of love by together procreating children in the conjugal act of love…” (pgs. 36-37)
What a beautiful theology of marriage. I wonder how many of us when we married plumbed the depths of this at all. Those of us who live within the sacrament of marriage over a period of time begin in some way to experience what is being described here, and I suspect even those who live without the benefits of the sacrament, although faithfully and respectfully to each other, also catch a glimpse at least of this Trinitarian experience.
Being a clinical social worker, I see on an almost daily basis the worst of marital situations. It is not easy to appreciate the depth of marital spirituality when faced with relationships marked by abuse, neglect, alcohol and drugs, infidelity or plain simple immaturity of persons. But when I speak to some who have lost their spouses through abandonment, death or betrayal, it can amaze me the depth of the bond they can and do experience.
Let us pray that when we see the face of our husband or wife, we recognize the face of God, and in love completely give ourselves to him or her. In this way of loving, to which we are called, life is born, the Church renewed, and an openness to others in a spirit of hospitality and warmth is created.