2012-06-02 Vatican RadioI recently had the opportunity to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of two people who have truly loved one another – and now, even more than on their wedding day. It was one of the most wonderful celebrations that I have participated in. While this couple has been together for many years, others, whose time together was shortened by death, have nonetheless enjoyed the same experience, even if for a shorter time. The journey is not easy – but the will to undertake the journey together has never been lacking, and the love and profound union they have shared has never run out. It is something possible, something real, that can be found among men and women just like us. I believe it is the greatest experience offered to men and women in the natural order; a truly human experience, both physical and spiritual, that expands naturally by giving life and joy to others. What more can we desire for young people, for those we love? Shouldn’t we help them to see this ideal and hope that they will be able to fulfil it – if not perfectly, at least with confidence and peace? Why should we make them believe that it’s an unworldly, impossible ideal?
Perhaps some have desired and hoped for this joy, but have fallen short. But suffering and disappointment must not prevent us from continuing to look up to that ideal. Only by continuing to strive for that ideal can we continue to hope that we will arrive at it. And when we see true love, even in others we can all rejoice.
In short, we mustn’t diminish the value of deep and faithful love between a man and a woman: when we see it and when we find it, it is clear that it is one of the most wonderful things in the world. What do we gain by refusing to see it?
Those who seek happiness in other ways are certainly free to do so, and to share with others what they have found. But this is the normal path to happiness offered to the great majority of men and women of this earth, throughout history. For the good and happiness of men and women, we must help them to find it and embrace it for all the time they’ll be given in this world. And so perhaps they will be able to understand better how life continues in the next world: in Love. This is the meaning of the celebration in Milan.