SUPERNATURAL LOVE SOME persons imagine that the endeavor to transform their natural love into supernatural love will make them awkward, make them lose their spontaneity, their naturalness. Indeed, nothing is farther from the truth, if supernatural love is rightly understood. What does it really require? First of all, does it not require us to fulfill the perfections of natural love? Supernatural love, far from suppressing natural love, makes it more tender, more attentive, more generous; it intensifies the sentiments of affection, esteem, admiration, gratitude, respect, and devotion which constitute the essence of true love. Supernatural love takes away one thing only from natural and spontaneous love--selfishness, the arch-enemy of love. It demands that everything, from the greatest obligation to the simplest, be done as perfectly as possible. Then by elevating simple human love to the level of true charity, it ennobles the greatest powers of that love. It suppresses nothing. It enriches everything. Better still, it provides in advance against the danger of a diminution in human love. It pardons weaknesses, deficiencies, faults. Not that it is blind to them, but it does not become agitated by them. It bears with them, handles them tactfully, helps to overcome them. It is capable of bestowing love where all is not lovable. Penetrating beyond the exterior, it can peer into the soul and see the image of God behind a silhouette which has become less pleasing. That is the whole secret. Supernatural love in us seeks to love in the manner and according to the desire of God; it requires us therefore to love God in those we love and then to love the good qualities He has given them and bear with the absence of those He has not given or with the characteristics He has permitted them to acquire. Loving without any advertence to self, supernatural love is patient and constant in spite of the faults of those it loves. The Little Sister of the Poor loves her old folk despite their coughing, their unpleasant mannerisms, their varying moods. The Missionaries who care for the lepers love them in spite of their loathsome sores. Unselfish as it is, supernatural love inspires the one who is animated by it to seek the temporal and above all the spiritual good of the one he loves before his own. Delicately it calls the attention of the loved one to his faults, not to reproach him, but to help him correct them. It does not give in to irritability or moodiness; it is quick humbly to beg pardon and to make reparation, should it ever fail. And when there has been a little outburst, how comforting it is, in the intimate converse of the evening, to acknowledge one's failings, to express sorrow, and to promise to do better in the future with the other's help! But all this presupposes prayer and a true desire for union with God. UNITED STRIVING FOR SANCTITY A BEAUTIFUL work which husband and wife can pursue together is the mutual effort to correct their faults. Maurice Retour, an industrialist and one of the youngest captains of World War I of which he was a victim, suggested this to the woman he loved even during their engagement. He wrote to her, "I must confess something to you . . . I became aware of your imperfections and I thought how pained I should have been if I had not been able to see clearly into your soul . . . You see how frank I want to be with you. We are just engaged and yet instead of paying you compliments, I do not fear to speak to you of your imperfections which my love for you cannot hide . . . Tell me you will pardon me." Another time he wrote, "In general, engaged persons strive to shine in each other's eyes. We, on the contrary, began by showing each other all our faults...You have acknowledged all your faults to me; I confessed to you all my weakness . . . Thank you for your great confidence in me. But never forget that if I permit myself to give you advice which seems good to me, I can always be mistaken and you ought to discuss it with me. Otherwise I shall never dare to give you my opinions." In a later letter he said to her, "I have already abused the liberty you gave me. I have told you frankly all I thought about you, nor was I afraid to recognize before you what you call your great faults. It was, I must confess, most difficult for me to tell you because I love you so much that I dread causing you the least pain." He added, "The interior life is what we need to correct our failings and we shall work from now on, if you wish, to grow in it." This mutual effort of husband and wife to correct themselves of their faults may be much, but it is not enough. Something more beautiful remains--to strive positively for sanctity through mutual instruction, loving encouragement and a united and confiding zeal for each other's perfection. "Why should we not live a saintly life?" asked Maurice Retour of his bride-to-be. And they decided upon some very definite principles for themselves. "Let us put no faith in fortune, in pleasures, even in our self- love which always increases and makes us run the risk of becoming blind.... The one who receives the most grace will make the other profit by it. What do we care what the world says! It will say what it pleases, but it never will be able to say that we are not true Catholics . . . Our life will be holy and simple." "As far as jewels are concerned," commented Maurice, "I understand you perfectly. If you had loved them, I should never have opposed your tastes, but I tell you frankly, I should have suffered. We shall not fail by excesses on this score. We can do so much good with money that it would be wrong, in spite of my desire to spoil you, to spend it only on you. We shall save all we can to enable us to give more to charity. We shall always go straight to our goal and make no concessions to worldliness." There is however, nothing admirable in a gloomy life. "Our interior life must be so intense that it remains alive in all our exterior actions, our pleasures, our work, our joys and our sorrows. I do not mean an interior life which makes us withdraw into ourselves and become bores for other people. On the contrary, we ought to spread our gaiety generously about us and spend all the activity of our youth to attract those who meet us. But, in order to be saints, we must be able to conserve in the midst of the most captivating pleasures and the most intense activity an interior calm which enables us to remain self-possessed always. . ." A saint who is sad is sadly in need of sanctity! A truly inspiring program!