When we hear the word love we instinctively think of romantic love. Most of our songs we hear deal with romantic love and the airwaves are filled with love songs. There is a saying that "love means never to have to say you're sorry." In an ideal world this would be true, but this is not our reality. The Italians have an expression "Ti voglio bene" which means "I desire your good". This is a better expression of true love.

Love between man and woman begins as an attraction, may proceed to a choice and beyond that to sacrifice. "What are they? A strange mixture of aspirations and instincts, a confusion of impulses and weaknesses. What do they give to each other? Their humanity such as it will be--something halfway between good and evil." (Edited by H. Caffarel, Marriage is Holy, Fides Publishers, Inc., Notre Dame, IN, p. 125)

Difficulties and suffering are inevitable in marriage because man is by nature more inclined toward sexual pleasure while woman is more given to love of persons. To bring the two into harmony requires self-sacrifice. Sacrifice means that they must strive to raise their sufferings and love above the purely human, toward the divine.

In the Christian perspective, the mystery of Christ's death and resurrection enters into their lives to purify their love and make it fruitful. The child that comes into the family requires more sacrifice. Husband and wife must give more attention and care to their children and less to themselves. This is the way that love is transfigured. The reason we have so many broken marriages is due to the unwillingness to sacrifice for the good of others.

Sacrifice is the only language that love can speak
and love is the only means of filling the human heart.

Love Divine, All Love Excelling

Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heav'n, to earth come down;
Fix in us Thy humble dwelling,
All Thy faithful mercies crown;
Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure, unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation,
Enter ev'ry trembling heart.