Marriage is a revelation and mystery. We see in it the complete transformation of a human being, the expansion of his personality, fresh vision, a new perception of life, and through it a rebirth into the world in a new plenitude.
Our modern individualism creates special difficulties in married life. To overcome them, a conscious effort on both sides is necessary, in order to build up the marriage and make it a “walking in the presence of God.” (The Church alone provides a full and genuine solution for all problems.) And there is something further, something which may appear to be simplest thing of all, but which is nevertheless the most difficult to achieve-a firm intention to allow each partner to preserve his or her proper place in the marriage-for the wife humbly to assume the second place, for the husband to take up the burden and the responsibility of being the head. If this firm intention and desire are present, God will always help us to follow this difficult path, the path of martyrdom- the chant of the “Holy martyrs” is sung in the course of the bridal procession-but also a way of life that yields the most intense joy.
Marriage, fleshly love, is a very great sacrament and mystery. Through it is accomplished the most real and at the same time the most mysterious of all possible forms of human relationship. And, qualitatively, marriage enables us to pass beyond all normal rules of human relationship and to enter a region of the miraculous, the superhuman.
In fleshly love, beside its intrinsic value as such, God has granted the world a share in His omnipotence: man creates man, a new soul is brought into being.
Excerpt taken from the book: “The Diary of a Russian Priest” by- Fr. Alexander Elchaninov