Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
It’s a basic aspect of human relationships: make eye contact. When we fail to do so at the appropriate times, we fail to show interest in the other person. We may seem too distracted to care, or perhaps ashamed of something. Failure to make eye contact is failure to connect.
When you love a person, you want to look into his or her eyes, rather than loving from afar. You want to see the person’s face. Even the love of God is described this way. The Book of Revelation announces the ultimate destiny of the human family, the culmination of their salvation, in this way: “They shall see Him face to face” (Rev. 22:4)
The eyes teach us about the one who suffers, whether it be an animal or human victim. For a moment, we pierce the veil that separates our experience from theirs, and temporarily see and feel the world as they do.
Baptism washes off those evils that were previously within us, whereas the sins committed after baptism are washed away by tears. The baptism received by us as children we have all defiled, but we cleanse it anew with our tears. If God in His love for the human race had not given us tears, those being saved would be few indeed and hard to find (St. John of the Ladder).
Matthew 6 (Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition)21For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.
22The light of thy body is thy eye. If thy eye be single, thy whole body shall be lightsome.
23But if thy eye be evil thy whole body shall be darksome. If then the light that is in thee, be darkness: the darkness itself how great shall it be!
Where is my husband's treasure? Where is his heart? Where is the light in his eyes? When his eyes shine because he is acting out of that Christ-like self-emptying love, everything else in our life falls into place. That doesn't mean it all becomes a bed of roses! It means that our yoke is heavy but our burden is light and we're able to successfully address these other issues. When it happens, it is like Saul on the road to Tarsus who had been blinded, but upon turning to God regains his sight and the rest of his life as St. Paul fell into place. "And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized... (Acts 9:18)" With that spiritual awakening, there is peace in our house. We have a harmony and an intimacy. It is as if we effortlessly float about, not even needing to take harsh plodding steps. Then with a snap it is gone. Thunk. We hit the floor and my husband walks away in a dull stupor, as if it were all a dream.
25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it:
26That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the layer of water in the word of life:
27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any; such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish.
28So also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself.
29For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also Christ doth the church:
30Because we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh.
32This is a great sacrament; but I speak in Christ and in the church.