Many of us are thinking of our Valentine’s these days — our lovers, intendeds, spouses, classmates, mothers, etc.,etc.
So, what is love?
I have officiated at the marriages of many young couples over the 40 years of my priesthood who have chosen St. Paul’s Ode to Love for their wedding Mass.
It has got to be one of the most awesome pieces of prose of all time.
Take the time to take it in and see how you (we) measure up.
If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge;
if I have all faith so as to move mountains
but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast
but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous,
Love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude,
it is not quick-tempered,
it does not brood over injury, It bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things. Love never fails. So faith, hope, love remain, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.
- – I Corinthians 13
You are LOVE itself.
We give you thanks for the people in our life who have loved-us-into the persons we are.
We rejoice in them and remember them in love.
But so many of us are wounded because we have not experienced the parental love
that would allow us to know and experience how to love.
Help us take your servant Paul’s words to heart that we may understand the true meaning of love.
May we have a heart that is open to all persons, all of life, all of the universe.
To You Lord, be glory and praise, now and forever.
Now for your listening pleasure, here are two Youtube versions of Bette Midler’s THE ROSE (1) with great photograpy OR (and) with lyrics displayed.
(I have always have thought of Mary, Jesus’ mother, when I listen to the beautiful poetry of this song by Janis Joplin.)
priest / writer