While caught in the midst of the morning rush hour traffic and, for some reason, I'd thought of my friend's wedding a presided over last year, on Halloween, more appropriately titled “the Hallowedding.”
It was a great time. Leading up to the wedding I was crafting the homily and I really had to think about love, something I'd been a bit burned on at that time. I'd gotten over the excitement of new love. Whenever I talk to people who aren't in a relationship, they tend to tell me they just want to fall in love, not necessarily to BE in love.
Truthfully, the friends I've talked to haven't said specifically, “I just want to fall in love.” Yet, what I'm hearing is the ideal of what falling and being in love is, not the whole “work” part of being in love. In short, I was having a real problem coming up with what to write for my friends.
It's then that I remembered something from Captain Corelli's Mandolin, a movie that I'd been forced to see, when it came out. Really, I didn't like it all that much, but there was a line from that movie that burned deep into my consciousness; I wouldn't forget it… It was so weird that such a great line came from a movie that I didn't really care for.
When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots are become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No… don't blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn't sound very exciting, does it? But it is! — Captain Corelli's Mandolin
How awesome is that quote? I knew I had a winner and it quickly found its way into my homily!
In an odd way this quote told me that it's okay that love isn't always great; that sometimes it just isn't that exciting on the surface… We have to peel away at the layers to find the good stuff and it's a constant work. I knew this already, but sometimes quotes from lame movies can provided the greatest clarity.