Marco and Maria come from the province of Milan, Italy. They have been engaged for five years, and both work. They plan to be married in 2013. But first they want to get to know each other better, to share some quality time and above all to enter more deeply into their decision that will last forever.
Giuseppe and Paola will get married in July. “There’s so much to be done,” they say, “but our desire is above all to start off by getting to know each other better as a couple.”
On 15 – 18 March 2012, 120 couples from throughout Europe gathered at the Mariapolis Centre in Castelgandolfo, Italy, for a marriage preparation course orgranized by the New Families Movement.
This is the 36th such course, which wants to offer an experience that “There is Only One Love” as the title proclaims, the love of God in which human love is all contained, as Chiara Lubich wrote in a letter to her sister who was engaged in 1944.
“At first it bothered me that he was always thinking too much,” recounts Maria, “I also noticed the cultural differences, but now I feel that they enrich me. I see where I can improve. . .”
The couples talked, telling about themselves, their plans and their dreams. They confront their feelings both between themselves and with the other couples, willing to go all the way in discovering and living “a beautiful and pure love, as Chiara Lubich described at a congress in 1991 – a love so strong that it pushed them to leave their families in order to be joined in marriage.”
Rev Fr Paolo Gentili, Director of the Office for the Family at the Italian Conference of Bishops, gave a presentation in which he highlighted the significance of the marriage sacrament: “In a world that lives of use-and-toss relationships,” he explained, “saying a yes that is forever offers the glimpse of a love before which all others are like broken shards of glass in front of a fine diamond.”
“Faced with the fragmentation and fragility of couple relationships today,” underscored Gentili, “planning on marriage, built on the rock of Christ, permits you to rise up again from those small and great falls that will certainly occur, keeping you faithful to the horizon of Love.”