Love Dreams

Author: Fulton J. Sheen

Love Dreams

Fulton J. Sheen

EVERY PERSON carries within his heart a blueprint of the one he loves. What seems to be "love at first sight" is actually the fulfillment of desire, the realization of a dream. Plato, sensing this, said that all knowledge is recollection from a previous existence. This is not true as he states it, but it true if one understands it to mean that we already have an ideal in us—one which is made by our thinking, our habits, our experiences, and our desire. Otherwise how would we know immediately, on seeing persons or things, that we loved them? Before meeting certain people we already have a pattern and mold of what we like and what we do not like, certain persons fit into that pattern, others do not.

When we hear music for the first time, we either like or dislike it. We judge it by the music we already have heard in our own hearts. Jittery minds which cannot long repose in one object of thought or in continuity of an idea love music which is distracting, excited, and jittery. Calm minds like calm music: the heart has its own secret melody, and one day when the score is played the heart answers, "This is it."

So it is with love. A tiny architect works inside the human heart drawing sketches of the ideal love from the people it sees, from the books it reads, from its hopes and daydreams, in the fond hope that the eye may one day see the ideal and the hand touch it. Life becomes satisfying the moment the dream is seen walking, and the person apt pears as the incarnation of all that one loves. The liking is instantaneous— because, actually, it has been there waiting for a long time.

God, too, has within Himself blueprints of everything in the universe. As the architect has in his mind a plan of the house before the house is built, so God has in His Mind an archetypal idea of every flower, bird, tree, spring time, and melody. There never was a brush touched to canvas nor a chisel to marble without some great preexisting idea. So, too, every atom and every rose is realization and concretion of an idea existing in the Mind of God from all eternity. All creatures below man correspond to the pattern God has in His Mind. A tree is truly a tree because it corresponds to God's idea of a tree.

In marriage too, love begins with a dream. As a French author put it, "To know a woman at the hour of desire, one must first respect her at the exquisite hour of dream." Love then is an act of faith, a declaration of the unseen as the real.

If ideals are not high, if the blueprints of love are not beautiful, then the marriage itself will not be beautiful. As some minds can listen to the barbaric tom-tome of antimusic, so there are hearts that can be satisfied with a body without a soul. Hence the need of a moral preparation for marriage. St. Francis de Sales once said that "in marriage, one takes a vow. But it is the only instance where a vow is taken without a novitiate. If it had a year of novitiate, how few would enter into it." The novitiate of marriage must necessarily embrace two elements: the spiritualization of personal lives in order that the sublime architectural blueprint of life's partner be formed within, and a constant prayer that God Himself will dispose historical conditions to make the dreams come true.

With marriage and its ripening with the fruit of love, there will dawn a new understanding that everyone carries with him a blueprint of the one he loves, and that One is God. The other partner then is seen as the Lord's John the Baptist, preparing the way and making straight His paths. God was just half seen through the flesh, but thanks to life's companionship, one becomes more and more attuned to the Divine Fork that gave the original melody on the wedding day.

Love which began as Passion, then became an Act, and now in the autumn of life becomes once again a Desire born of Memory; the new "passionless passion" strains at the leash of life to be one with Life, Truth and Love. The words of Our Lord now repeatedly come to their minds: "Those who are found worthy to attain that other world, and resurrection from the dead, take neither wife nor husband." That means that sex, which reflected the animal kingdom, will not exist in eternity, but love, which is a reflection of God's unbodied essence, will remain their eternal ecstasy. There will be no faith in Heaven, for we will already see; there will be no hope in Heaven, for we will already possess; but there will always be love. God is Love!

Copyright (c) 1996 EWTN