Anthony Esolen, a professor at Providence College and editor of Touchstone, has a beautiful exhortation up on the magazine's blog page. He contemplates the reality of marriage, society's deep need for marriage, and its tragic violation. Complete with Dante and Augustine, he offers some compelling and--if not unique--at least oft-forgotten insight:
"Marriage -- marriage such as Jesus defined it -- is the foundation of society not simply because it is the best environment for raising children, though it is. It is the foundation because in it man and woman commit themselves one to another, as if they were, so to speak, gods freely bestowing freedom upon what they create. They are like God Himself in that free and freedom-making relinquishment of themselves, and they find themselves in that greater thing they create, the one flesh, the love that embraces them and that stands as an example to all others of the beauty and grandeur of that complete gift."
Really the best witness to that grandeur is the faithful marriage. I have been blessed to witness many faithful marriages, some are good and wholesome, others filled to overflowing with pain. But fidelity to the vows--in and out of season--has its own inimitable joy. And then, at the end, when one spouse has died, and the marriage is over, that joy overflows. It is finished!
Esolen is much more articulate, so give him a read.