On duty and the married state

10 02 2010

Do not look elsewhere for the sources of such heroism. In the events of family life, as in all the circumstances of human existence, heroism has its basic roots in the profound and surpassing sense of duty, of that duty with which it is impossible to compromise or bargain and which must prevail over and above everything. This sense of duty is, for Christians, the conscious recognition of God’s sovereign dominion over us, of His sovereign authority and His sovereign goodness. It teaches us that God’s clear mandate will brook no arguments but imposes complete surrender. Above all else, it makes us understand that this Divine Will is the voice of infinite love for us. In a word, this sense of duty is not abstract, nor a reaction to an inexorable, hostile, and overpowering law which overwhelms freedom of human will or action. It responds to the exigencies of love, of an infinitely generous friendship, transcending and sustaining the multiform vicissitudes of our life in the world.

-Pope Pius XII, from the book, Dear Newlyweds