I’m kind of a word-nerd. (Well, maybe a big word nerd). My degree is in English and I get excited about word meanings, the history of words, the dialects of English, how people choose to use the words they do, the power of words, the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, and oh! I could go on, but I’ll stop myself.

One could say that I’m passionate about words, and lately I’ve found myself wondering about the history of the word “passion”.¬†There are “crimes of passion”; self-help gurus and magazine covers ask if we are living passionate lives or promise to help us have more passionate relationships. One definition of passion is “a strong, barely containable emotion”. On the other hand, we also hear about “Christ’s passion” which is his suffering and death.¬†After a cursory internet search, I see that the word derives from a Latin word, meaning “to suffer”. “Christ’s passion” is the original way in which the word was used. The “strong feelings” meaning came later. This makes sense, certainly suffering produces strong emotions. A person would likely not give their life for someone unless they felt strongly for him or her.

This leads me to think of two things:
1. First, this Scripture verse. “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (Jn 15:13 NAB)
2. From the Church document, Gaudium et Spes, we hear “…man [persons] can only find himself through a sincere gift of himself.”

All of this leads me to the conclusion that the way to a “passionate” life and a “passion-filled” marriage, is loving others, including one’s spouse, enough to sacrifice for them. If each spouse does this for the other, their marriage will certainly be filled to the brim with passion.

So what are ways you can put more passion into your marriage? Look for opportunities to put your spouse first. In my own marriage my husband is really good at helping me with the dishes and picking up around the house. Since they are not the most enjoyable tasks, I know it’s a sacrifice he does because he loves me. When it comes to driving places, my husband and I both prefer to be in the passenger seat, and prefer the other one tod o the driving. Often one drives to our destination and the other drives home, but maybe I can drive both ways. That would be a small sacrifice to perform out of love for him. Another thing I could do is get all our children ready for bed myself so that he can go to bed early on the nights he’s particularly tired. These are just a couple of small things that I thought of; I’m sure when you look at your own marriage you can come up with your own list and put it into action!


Written By: April




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