Love and Family: A Metaphysical Reflection on Gabriel Marcel

Love and Family: A Metaphysical Reflection on Gabriel Marcel


In the study of Metaphysics, the metaphysician tries to at least grasp knowledge of the whole of reality. He therefore acknowledges that all around him exist in a particular mode of existence. He sees that as a part of reality, there are beings interconnected which each other, thus, forming the all embracing, pervasive reality. There is cohesion between him and the others whether evidently see or can implicitly comprehend. The little poor man of Assisi, St. Francis saw the radical oneness of creation to the point that he became aware of his relation to all created things, living or non-living affirming sun as his brother, moon as his sister and so on. He experienced the love of God through creation; he felt that love is capable of expressing its self in its own mysterious ways. One of the characteristics of love is it requires itself to be felt. As we can see from the beginning of creation until this present generation, love exists. As what I have said earlier, because it demands to be felt, it continues and persistently makes way for it to be incarnated. Gabriel Marcel in his metaphysical approach in his concept of love believes that when a person loves someone, the lover discovers that the beloved will live forever. This belief may imply that love can actually conquer death. When our parents took and professed their vows in marriage, saying ‘til death do us part’ they nonetheless profess ‘I love you forever’. This ‘I do’ in the ritual of marriage vows is the message that will eventually create a new being in existence. Marcel in his article on The Mystery of the Family will acknowledge this as the I am, the reply which at first unformed but later came into being. Marcel thus said: “At the very least, I come to believe that, far from being endowed with an absolute existence of my own, I am, without having originally wished or suspected it, I incarnate the reply to the reciprocal appeal which two beings flung to each other in the unknown and which, without suspecting it, they flung beyond themselves to an incomprehensible power whose only expression is the bestowal of life…”. This dimension of love is procreation, it doesn’t want to destroy the succession of love, wanting only to be born and experience by other for it to be called as such. The family is an instrument for love to grow it becomes a source of presences or existence in this whole of reality. We can see that death has no power over it for love persists even in front of death saying: ‘I love you and will keep you alive inside my heart… the existence of our  children continues the love with which we planted and will flourish forevermore to eternity…’. We are caught up by a continuous cycle of life and love of procreation and continuity. We are united like a certain pattern or constellation interconnected with each other through love. As we gaze what surrounds us, we hear groanings coming from other beings, beings that are loved by other beings such as flowers beloved by butterflies and bees, soil beloved by worms and grass, children beloved by their parents and people around them. We form unity… we are one; we exist in a continuous cycle of loving and being loved by others. Like St. Francis of Assisi, may we learn to acknowledge and respect others thus becoming a ‘protective skin’ like my parents to me as I to them; not harming or destroying but trying to see our own connectedness to them.

-Fiel Pareja, MPM



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