135. It is not helpful to dream of an idyllic and perfect love needing no stimulus to grow. A celestial notion of earthly love forgets that the best is yet to come, that fine wine matures with age. As the Bishops of Chile have pointed out, “the perfect families proposed by deceptive consumerist propaganda do not exist. In those families, no one grows old, there is no sickness, sorrow or death… Consumerist propaganda presents a fantasy that has nothing to do with the reality which must daily be faced by the heads of families”.(Chilean Bishops’ Conference, La vida y la familia: regalos de Dios para cada uno de nosotros (21 July 2014).) It is much healthier to be realistic about our limits, defects and imperfections, and to respond to the call to grow together, to bring love to maturity and to strengthen the union, come what may.
Romantic love gets the bad rap/rep. It seems to me that romance and initial attraction (infatuation, if you will) is how human beings use their socialization and their physical being (how we were made, if you will) to initiate a deeper relationship. Chemistry is nothing to be ashamed of–as long as we realize it is but a first step. Not the only step.
Pope Francis counsels we be realistic. Our beloved is a companion in growth (in pilgrimage, if you will). Joining with a spouse to make a sacred quest and journey seems quite romantic to me.