Five stories of love, friendship and cooperation are presented to show that the emotional relationships between a man and a woman accompany the protagonists along a path of asceticism and the assimilation of a lifestyle characterized by selfless love. They are told by Attilio Danese and Giulia Paola Di Nicola in Il buio sconfitto. Cinque relazioni speciali tra eros e amicizia spirituale (The defeated darkness. Five special relationships, between eros and spiritual friendship) (published by Effata).
Charlotte Baudouin and Charles Peguy, Raïssa Oumançoff and Jacques Maritain, Francesca Romans and Alcide De Gasperi, Mya Salvati and Igino Giordani, Adrienne von Speyr and Hans Urs von Balthasar are the protagonists of this work, which is born—the authors explain—"of curiosity and admiration for the way in which some spouses have lived mutual love, building on the remembrance of the attraction and at the same time sharing a common path to the true perfection of faithful, donative and chaste love, whether physical or purely spiritual, as in the case of Adrienne von Speyr and Hans Urs von Balthasar." With this focus, the spotlight is put on all the aspects of the couple's relationship: in some of the stories, their love was sealed by the sacrament and expressed in effusions of spousal intimacy, while in others it remained tied to civil bonds, defended as sacred (a significant prophetic provocation to be reflected upon anew after the exhortation Amoris Laetitia), or hidden in the secret of a mysterious proximity enlivened by modesty and the circumstances; in yet others, both the bodily experience of unity and abstinence were experienced at different stages. Finally, in another case, it is kept in the shrine of the reciprocity of the consciences, where the woman and the man recognized the whisper of the Spirit that unites beyond bodily ties and institutional schemes (von Balthasar and von Speyr). The guiding theme of faith, far from limiting love, rooted it more deeply, purified and eternalized it, even when it seemed offended and mortally wounded.