Over the weekend I went to the wedding of my nephew Victor and his bride Erika. Seeing them so happy and in love got me thinking about something Pope John Paul wrote in Crossing the Threshold:
"It is necessary to prepare young people for marriage, it is necessary to teach them love. Love is not something that is learned, and yet there is nothing else as important to learn! As a young priest I learned to love human love. This has been one of the fundamental themes of my priesthood--my ministry in the pulpit, in the confessional, and also in my writing. If one loves human love, there naturally arises the need to commit oneself completely to the service of "fair love," because love is fair, it is beautiful."
Pope John Paul must have been something of a romantic. People who are cynical might dismiss him as a modern day Don Quixote, seeking an ideal of "fair love" that exists more in fantasy than reality. Certainly he knew of the pain and suffering that often comes in failed love and marriage. Yet he always kept that ideal, that beautiful ideal of love. The failings and infidelities of people can never completely wipe it out.