I will espouse you to me forever:
I will espouse you in right and in justice,
in love and in mercy;
I will espouse you in fidelity,
and you shall know the Lord.
The first reading is from Hosea. And it’s just lovely, isn’t it?
Father Caulfield tells us that the spousal relationship works really well as an analogy for our relationship with God. He stresses, though, that it’s an analogy, that it’s not exact. For some reason that makes me think of what Janeane Garofalo says in The Truth about Cats and Dogs, “You should love your pet, but not love your pet.”
But it’s a good thing for me to think about, since I always have trouble loving God. I know how to try really hard with the loving my neighbor thing. I love in Matthew when Christ says, “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” But God? I can accept that an omnipotent being created the universe, created all that is seen and unseen. But imagining that omnipotent being loving me, and trying to love back, is very hard.
Maybe that’s why I think about love but not love your pet? I don’t know. Maybe it’s easier to think of myself as akin to a pet to God, rather than being made in God’s image? Again, I don’t know.
But “I will espouse you in fidelity, and you shall know the Lord,” is stil just plain lovely.