The World's First Love by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. Part 3.

The Woman the World Loves. CHAPTER 1 continued

And that brings us back to the beginning. We have said that everyone carries within his heart a blueprint of his ideal love. The best of human loves, no matter how devoted they be, must end and there is nothing perfect that ends. If there be anyone of whom it is possible to say, "This is the last embrace," then there is no perfect love. Hence some, ignoring the Divine, may try to have a multiplicity of loves make up for the ideal love; but this is like saying that to render a musical masterpiece one must play a dozen different violins.

Every man who pursues a maid, every maid who yearns to be courted, every bond of friendship in the universe, seeks a love that is not just her love or his love but something that overflows both her and him which is called "our love." Everyone is in love with an ideal love, a love that is so far beyond sex that sex is forgotten. We all love something more than we love. When that overflow ceases, love stops. As the poet puts it: "I could not love thee, dear, so much, loved I not honour more." That ideal love we see beyond all creature-love, to which we instinctively turn when flesh-love fails, is the same ideal that God had in His Heart from all eternity -the Lady whom He calls "Mother." She is the one whom every man loves when he loves a woman whether he knows it or not. She is what every woman wants to be, when she looks at herself. She is the woman whom every man marries in ideal

when he takes a spouse; she is hidden as an ideal in the discontent of every woman with the carnal aggressiveness of man; she is the secret desire every woman has to be honored and fostered; she is the way every woman wants to command respect and love because of the beauty of her goodness of body and soul. And this blueprint love, whom God loved before the world was made; this Dream Woman before women were, is the one of whom every heart can say in its depth of depths: "She is the Woman I love!"