Sometimes it looks like this:
Caravaggio's portrayal of the Holy Family taking respite during the flight into Egypt
And sometimes it looks like this:
But we believe...
I was reading Cardinal Dolan's address at the Knights of Columbus 130th Supreme Convention and it is extremely inspiring and encouraging, (as is always the case with Cardinal Dolan).
"We Catholics are hopeless romantics, you know, when it comes to married love . . .
Against all odds, we still believe that, when a man and woman vow that they’ll love and honor each other, “for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, until death do us part,” they really do mean it;
We still hold fast to the teaching of the Bible that God so esteems marriage that He compared His personal, passionate, eternal love for Israel to that between a husband and a wife; that Saint Paul tells us that the love of Jesus for us, His Church, is just like that of a groom for His bride;
We still have in our gut the Church’s timeless “Valentine’s Day card,” that the love between a husband and a wife has the same characteristics as does that of God for us: it is faithful; it is forever; it brings about new life in children.
We are such hopeless romantics that we contend the best way to get a hint of how God loves us now, and in eternity, is to look at how you, married couples, love one another. “The love of a man and woman is made holy in the sacrament of marriage, and becomes the mirror of your everlasting love . . . ,” chants the Preface in the Nuptial Mass.
You see why we, mostly celibates up here, look out upon you married couples with awe? We gaze out now at thousands of icons, reflections, mirrors of the way God loves us.
Now, you are, we are, the first to acknowledge that this romantic, poetic, lofty, divine lustre of marriage can at times be tarnished a bit in the day-in-day-out challenges of lifelong, life-giving, faithful love. For example, I recently had the golden jubilee of a wonderful couple I’ve known for decades.
“What’s the secret to the success of your fifty years of marriage? I asked Pat.
“Well, you know Eileen and I are both of Irish background, so, for our 25th anniversary, I took her back to Ireland.”
“Pat, how thoughtful,” I remarked.
“Yeah and then, for our 50th, I went back to get her! There’s the key to our success!”
Tension, trial, temptation, turmoil - - they come indeed, but - - just as Jesus worked His first miracle, at the request of His blessed Mother, for a newly married couple at Cana by turning water into wine - - so does Jesus transform those choppy waters of tension, trial, temptation, and turmoil, into a vintage wine of tried-and-true-trust in marriage."Marriage is the living icon of God's passion for us.The family is an image and a reflection of the Blessed Trinity.