128. The aesthetic experience of love is expressed in that “gaze” which contemplates other persons as ends in themselves, even if they are infirm, elderly or physically unattractive. A look of appreciation has enormous importance, and to begrudge it is usually hurtful. How many things do spouses and children sometimes do in order to be noticed! Much hurt and many problems result when we stop looking at one another. This lies behind the complaints and grievances we often hear in families: “My husband does not look at me; he acts as if I were invisible”. “Please look at me when I am talking to you!”. “My wife no longer looks at me, she only has eyes for our children”. “In my own home nobody cares about me; they do not even see me; it is as if I did not exist”. Love opens our eyes and enables us to see, beyond all else, the great worth of a human being.
How easy it can be for people to cross the awareness of our senses, but we do not engage our eyes for a full seeing. Spouses also complain that the partner hears but does not listen. The distinction is important and easy to grasp. The beloved deserves a gaze, but gets a glance. The partner wants to be listened to, but is only superficially heard.
Remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.