124. A love that is weak or infirm, incapable of accepting marriage as a challenge to be taken up and fought for, reborn, renewed and reinvented until death, cannot sustain a great commitment. It will succumb to the culture of the ephemeral that prevents a constant process of growth. Yet "promising love for ever is possible when we perceive a plan bigger than our own ideas and undertakings, a plan which sustains us and enables us to surrender our future entirely to the one we love".123 If this love is to overcome all trials and remain faithful in the face of everything, it needs the gift of grace to strengthen and elevate it. In the words of Saint Robert Bellarmine, "the fact that one man unites with one woman in an indissoluble bond, and that they remain inseparable despite every kind of difficulty, even when there is no longer hope for children, can only be the sign of a great mystery".124
123 Encyclical Letter Lumen Fidei (29 June 2013), 52: AAS 105 (2013), 590.
124 De sacramento matrimonii, I, 2; in Id., Disputationes, III, 5, 3 (ed. Giuliano, Naples, 1858), 778.
© LIBRERIA EDITRICE VATICANA.
Click here for full text