One grammar question from elementary school was, "Is it: 1 plus 1 is 2 or 1 plus 1 are 2?" That is a bit confusing, but not as confusing as, "1 plus 1 are 1." Even someone without math aptitude such as me should know better than that.

Yet that is the equation I got when I thought about my wife Jo Ann and me. However, it is not a new one. The first book of the Old Testament notes: "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body" (Genesis 2:24, NAB). The first book of the Old Testament states: "Thus they are no longer two but one flesh" (Matthew 19:6a).

In more than 21 years of marriage, Jo Ann and I have discovered this to be true when we are together - and even on those rare occasions when we are not. Using two candles to light a new one during our wedding symbolized the joining of our families. It has come to symbolize the joining of our hearts.

We're each other's best friend and we love to spend time together. We are so rarely seen separately at Mass or other public gatherings that the absence of one of us is quickly noticed. If I am on a weekend retreat, Jo Ann is always asked where I am when she goes to church.

But, ironically, I think that we notice our unity of soul the times when we cannot go somewhere together. If one of us cannot attend a wake or funeral, the other signs both our names in the registry because we are both there in spirit. When Jo Ann's dad was in one hospital and my dad was in another, we split up to visit our respective dads with the knowledge that we were both there in both places.

The romantic love that is present on Valentine's Day is great, but the deep love that grows ever deeper is priceless.

Of course, there is only one way for our hearts to have grown together over the years. God united them at our wedding when we joined our hearts to His. And He will reunite our hearts for eternity when we finally get to see Him.


God's love joins both heart and soul.