A New Commandment: Love One Another as I Have Loved You (Jn 13:34)
Continuing our discussion of marital spirituality, we return to the Cross to summarize the meaning of marital love. Jesus commanded His disciples, every Christian, to love one another as He has loved us. This is a love of total Self-gift to the point of death. This death begins for us with death-to-self, which is a death to our fallen inclinations for the sake of the good of others. However, it is a readiness to follow our Lord to the Cross in bodily death if necessary, for the salvation of others. This selfless love must be the guide and rule of life for every married couple. It is achieved only through the Spirit of Christ poured into their hearts through the power of the Sacrament of Matrimony. Their love, purified by their cooperation with sanctifying grace, is the fruit of the Spirit acting within them. At the same time, their selfless love is the first commandment of their spiritual lives as Christian spouses. Thus, the Christian family will flourish by their intimate communion with God, one another and within the Church. They will then be prepared to serve God and the rest of society by being witnesses of selfless love. A hallmark of covenant spirituality could be the spouses’ memorizing their own paraphrase of this verse from John’s Gospel, and making it a constant refrain between them.