A Spirituality of Exclusive and Free Love
319. Marriage is also the experience of belonging completely to another person. Spouses accept the challenge and aspiration of supporting one another, growing old together, and in this way reflecting God's own faithfulness. This firm decision, which shapes a style of life, is an "interior requirement of the covenant of conjugal love",380 since "a person who cannot choose to love forever can hardly love for even a single day".381 At the same time, such fidelity would be spiritually meaningless were it simply a matter of following a law with obedient resignation. Rather, it is a matter of the heart, into which God alone sees (cf. Mt 5:28). Every morning, on rising, we reaffirm before God our decision to be faithful, come what may in the course of the day. And all of us, before going to sleep, hope to wake up and continue this adventure, trusting in the Lord's help. In this way, each spouse is for the other a sign and instrument of the closeness of the Lord, who never abandons us: "Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Mt 28:20).
380 John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consorio (22 November 1981), 11: AAS 74 (1982), 93.
381 Id., Homily at Mass with Families, Cordoba, Argentina (8 April 1987), Insegnamenti X/1 (1987), 1161-1162.
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