Does anyone else find it really upsetting when you hear that the artist who sings one of your favorite, most genuine-sounding love songs has broken up with their boyfriend/girlfriend or separated from their husband/wife?
When Chuck Wicks released his song “Stealing Cinderella” and I heard it for the first time on country radio in 2007, I cried. This isn’t extremely unusual, since songs make me cry pretty often, especially if I’m driving in the car by myself. But it was a beautiful song that told a beautiful true story about a man asking his girlfriend’s father for her hand in marriage. At least, the radio announcers all said it was a true story.
The next thing I knew, later that year or maybe the next, I heard that Chuck and his fiancée had broken up. Luckily, they weren’t married yet (there are plenty of singer/songwriters whose beautiful love songs still on the air were written about ex-spouses). I’m sure that the ends of these relationships are all very sad stories, but still… it causes their old “love songs” not to ring quite so true. It’s sad. These songs tell all about “true love,” but the love didn’t last. What’s wrong with all this? What is love, really, if all these people thought they had it and then it ended?
Here is why I love the Church.
The Catechism gives us this:
“St. John Chrysostom suggests that young husbands should say to their wives: I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us… I place your love above all things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you.” (CCC 2365)
That’s love. And doesn’t it sound a little bit like something Jesus might say to each one of us, perhaps from the cross?
Just a thought… and something to strive for in each of our marriages, now or in the future. Someone should put that in a love song. I’d bawl my eyes out.