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Title: La relazione di coppia
Subtitle: Tra desiderio umano e amore cristiano
Author(s): FUMAGALLI, Aristide
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 18    Issue: 1   Date: 2012   
Pages: 64-75
DOI: 10.2143/INT.18.1.2164163

Abstract :
The reality of married life puts to a hard test an excessively idealized vision of the relationship of a couple. What is the relation between the immediate attraction and the personal bond? What is the link between the spontaneous affection and the matrimonial covenant? Taking as its theme the loving relationship between man and woman – which is suspended today between an excess of emotion and feeling, on the one hand, and a strong lack of intelligence and will, on the other hand – the article outlines a moral anthropology of the love of a couple in the framework of the Christian proclamation about matrimony. Taking its cue freely from the biblical text of the Song of Songs, the author sketches above all a phenomenology of the experience of love that is articulated on four levels: physical, psychical, spiritual, and transcendent, to which the four dynamisms of sensual emotion, affective feeling, the interpersonal bond, and the religious covenant correspond. A reflection on the dynamisms of love, from the immediate and spontaneous levels of emotion and of feeling to the more conscious and deliberate levels of the bond and of the covenant, demonstrates what is implied by personal liberty. Already on the level of emotion and of feeling, the man and the woman are not passive spectators of their falling in love; rather, they contribute freely to the genesis and to the growth of this love by allowing the emotions and the feelings to run freely. Besides this, in order for the falling in love to be transformed into love, each of the two must decide to will the person of the other, going beyond the level of merely feeling the emotions and the feelings that the other person evokes. The attitude vis-à-vis the other demands that the personal liberty opens up in the form required by the person of the other. The personal bond with the other attains the adequate depth when everything in the other is received, or when he or she is willed integrally, to the point of grasping the divine origin from which he or she draws life. The covenant that the man and the woman freely accept to establish with Christ is the possibility that is offered to them so that, loving each other as He has loved, they may love one another to the end, realizing through the grace of the divine love (agape) that to which human desire (eros) aspires, but which it cannot attain.

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