For the Christian, married eros itself must imitate Christ’s divine eros, which equates love and self-oblation; it must share Christ’s highest and ultimate intentions, so that husbands and wives must love each other with a view to sanctity and their common union with God. It is this obedience and fidelity required by marriage that keeps eros from becoming a supreme deity, which in its blindness is what it would like to make itself; but then it would become a demon, destroying both itself and everything around it. Even better perhaps it would be to say that, in both Christian marriage and consecrated celibacy, natural human eros is redeemed by being united with the divine eros, which both created the world to rejoice in its beauty and recreated it in Christ once it had fallen, in order again to embrace it. Can either of these events really be explained in purely rational terms?
Not only are divine love and human passion not incompatible; there is no truly Christian faith and experience that does not have passionate love at its center, love in the image of Christ’s own. Christianity, therefore, is not primarily a set of philosophical propositions appealing to the mind and looking there for assent, or a social project to realize an earthly utopia. All Christian truth (whether intellectual or social) ultimately derives from the Heart of God as a burning furnace of love: “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!”