Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One of my favourite sermons ...

... was preached by a Dominican in Québec. He was preaching on John 13. Here is the whole sermon pretty much verbatim.
Can we be commanded to love? Most of us would say no. We'd say that love can only be voluntary. Jesus says yes.
And with that he sat down. He might have qualified the point a whole lot but he chose not to because the basic point is that we are commanded to love.

And I think that applies in a special way when you are married. Sexual love is a crucial part of marriage. It's one of the things we vow to do when we get married. I could qualify that and there are important qualifications to make, some of which have been discussed in previous posts but the basic point is that we are commanded to do it as a consequence of our marriage vows.


  1. I think Jules, that Jesus' command to love was in the sense of Agape rather than Eros. Yes, we are commanded to love our neighbor as ourself (Agape), but no command will cause us to have Eros if it isn't there. I agree we can have Agape feelings for a spouse too, and in those cases where Eros isn't there or is no longer there and couples decide to separate, in service to Agape they should do it in the least acrimonious way possible. If they choose to stay together, one has to question the morality of continuing to have sexual relations if they continue to do so. I wouldn't say it would be sinful necessarily, but it seems to me if Eros isn't there then the sexual act would objectify the other person--valid heterosexual marriage or no valid heterosexual marriage--and it is no longer an act of real love in the Eros sense, but just getting their rocks off. Again, everyone is different, so its hard to generalize about any of this or adjudicate what is happening in each person's heart.

  2. Given how much we agree on, it is probably healthy that we disagree now and then. This will be one of those cases. I'll respond at greater length in an upcoming post but the sort answer is that I believe the marriage vow is a vow of sexual love. It is a vow that should never be made in in the first place unless your love is of a deeply sexual nature and the vow includes a promise to maintain and even to nurture this sexual love as long as you are able.