Ecstasy of a Wounded Man
“Erotic love shows most vividly one of the deepest paradoxes of human life: that we are complete and fulfilled not so much in being ourselves as in transcending ourselves.” -Dr. John D. Finley
I love being married. Living and working life out with Ania is my greatest gift. The delight and surprise of it all humbles me.
Marital intimacy is the Designer’s dream. And a bit terrifying: to be naked and…a little ashamed! Yet the sweet invitation to affirm and to be affirmed, to choose and to be chosen in our true naked selves is a marvel of Christian love.
How stunning that our intimate, self-gift--to the point of surrendering complete control – grants the Creator access to our powers of life and love. In our holy nakedness, we invite the Creator, unencumbered by contraception, into the very ground of our union. Therein lies an incredible possibility of transcending ourselves through new life.
Now let’s be honest – I’m a married, wounded man. While I offer my gift of self, I reckon daily with the reality that my “true self is not a perfect self” (Living Waters, 189). “Ecstasy” is no honeymoon from my wounds. Being a man in love comes with responsibility of self-awareness and moral surrender: learning to love better through my wounds.
Pope Benedict says it best: “Love is indeed ‘ecstasy’, not in the sense of a moment of intoxication, but rather as a journey, an ongoing exodus out of the closed inward-looking self towards its liberation through self-giving, and thus towards authentic self-discovery and indeed the discovery of God.” (Deus Caritas Est, 6)
In discovering more of myself, I give myself more fully to Ania. I’ve noticed this especially in the emotional realm.
A hard day at work doesn’t end when I leave the office. I have a responsibility to be “in communion” with this woman who needs to know why I’m on edge. My silence is not virtue; it hurts my bride. My "ecstatic" self offers Ania his good, bad, and ugly stuff. Jesus has given me another to refine this earnest, wounded gift of self. She cannot love what she does not know!
In marriage, I see how important it is to “read my wound.” Whenever a temptation to “check out” homosexually lurks at the door, I read my need to commune with my brothers. I remind myself that I’m a man among men. A temptation need not become “grasping” for the masculine. Jesus and brothers help me live in the light of my wound, and to stand in the potent gift I am.
Reality is an anchor for me, and I need my Christian brothers to bolster my fight.
Resurrected Jesus, victorious over all that seeks to divide, reconciles me to the good of my masculine gift. He sustains me in the “purity of my origins” (CCC 2336), with all the privileges and responsibilities that come with "manning up" for Ania.