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Marriage: Joy in Love


The freedom and joy of friendship is what we were made for. 


We have been created for the kind of love that is an end in itself, that does not serve a function beyond itself. Remember that God's primal reason for creating Eve was to dispel Adams solitude.  Far from being an afterthought the creation of Eve after the whole world was functionally in place signifies that the companionship of friends and their mutual enjoyment of their friendship exists outside of all functionality as an end in itself, or a reflection of the very life of the Blessed Trinity...

If a married person feels that within the marriage she lacks what she was made for, it is unavoidable that the spouse will be perceived as an obstacle to happiness and that this happiness will inevitably and understandably be sought elsewhere.  Nature can be implacable when she sets out to defend her rights.  Within marriage the careful, painstaking, selfless cultivation of friendship with one's spouse is not only the most joyful and rewarding of endeavors but also the most practical of occupations — "practical" that is, if what one envisions in one's life as the most desirable thing is not career success or money or fame or comfort or reputation, but joy in love resulting from great length of days spent in the company of one's beloved.



Father Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis. "Marriage: Joy in Love." excerpt from Fire of Mercy: Heart of the Word: Meditations on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew Vol. 1 (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1996).

Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Ignatius Press.

The Author

Leiva-Merikakis Leiva-Merikakis3Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Theology from Emory University. His areas of interest include liturgy and liturgical texts, Georg Trakl's poetry, the Gospel of Matthew, French and German poetry of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Greek and Roman classics, and Dante. He is the author of Fire of Mercy: Heart of the Word, a two-volume commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, Love's Sacred Order: The Four Loves Revisited, and The Way of the Disciple. He has also translated numerous works for Ignatius Press.

Copyright © 1996 Ignatius Press
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