Marriage and unselfed love

The latest in a string of films dealing with divorce, Kramer us. Kramer, has been playing to some deeply touched audiences. The film portrays a couple who, after a divorce and bitter custody battle for their child, at last learned something of the meaning of unselfed love. By the final scene they realize their own needs are less important than the needs of their little boy. Each is willing to give him up to the other rather than jeopardize his well-being.

One wonders how many real-life marriages might have turned out differently from the one portrayed in Kramer us. Kramer, had both partners developed the capacity for unselfed love before marrying. In affluent societies that sometimes emphasize self-fulfillment at all costs, few virtues seem more neglected—or more urgently needed. Caulked generously with unselfed love, the ark of marriage can ride the waves of the contemporary world, a world in which so many factors—careerism, self-absorption, and moral laxity—seem intent on snapping this primary societal bond.

We can help check these influences by prayerfully negating their source—a mortal sense of self. This so-called self is evolved from the mistaken notion that existence and intelligence can be independent of God. By its finite nature the mortal sense of self is divorced from the one real Ego, infinite Mind. It may seek to blunt the ache of hollowness through an emotional greed it terms love. Mortal self would bolster its sense of importance by pursuing a level of aggrandizement and recognition it calls success. It grabs for things and people, which it can see, instead of reaching for God, whom it cannot see. As a result, disappointment stalks its every move.

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Fear—faced and outfaced
January 28, 1980

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