Our friend L was invited to come forward and read the quote we chose by C.S. Lewis:
Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go.
And in fact, whatever people say, the state called “being in love” usually does not last. If the old fairy-tale ending “They lived happily ever after” is taken to mean “They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,” then it says what probably never was nor ever could be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships?
But, of course, ceasing to be “in love” need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense–love as distinct from “being in love”–is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be “in love” with someone else.
“Being in love” first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.
this quote is the reason why we decided we needed to have programs sitting at each seat. It’s not a quote that is traditionally romantic and we wanted to give our guests the chance to really read it and think about what it means.
It doesn’t speak of undying love or fate or soul mates. It’s about hard work, trust, and acknowledging the reality that a happy marriage filled with love will only come because we both strive for it. Our favorite line is the last in the first paragraph. We know that if we increase our knowledge, hold on to our principles, and improve our habits, that our love for one another can last into eternity.