Many of us are thinking of our Valentine’s these days— our lovers, intend-eds, spouses, classmates, mothers and also spouses remembering their deceased loved ones.
Hallmark would encourage us to “send the very best.” And marketeers would like to get their greedy fingers on our credit cards for this one-day holiday, wouldn’t they?
There’s a bit of a damper on this “holiday” this year as February 14 is also Ash Wednesday. For many Christian it’s the beginning of Lent and is a day of fasting and abstinence for us Catholics.
So let’s go a little deeper here. What is true love, really?
I’ve officiated at the marriages of many young couples during my years as a priest have chosen St. Paul’s Ode to Love for their wedding Mass.
It has got to be one of the most glorious pieces of prose of all time.
Take the time to take it in and see how you 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 does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered,
it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.
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 lives who have loved-us-into-the-Persons-we-have-become.
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 how to love.
Help us take your apostle Paul’s words to heart that we may truly know the true meaning of love.
May we have a heart open to all persons, all of life, all of the universe.
To You Lord, be glory and praise, now and forever.
Before you go, take a moment to listen to Bette Midler’s “The Rose”. Click here. It’s a song I’ve always favored ~ one of my generation. I think it sets the tone for what I want to say here. Be sure to turn up your speakers and enter full screen and have a great day! It’s a song I’ve always attributed to Our Lady.
I’ll be publishing two more Valentine’s blogs trying to unpack the meaning of St. Paul’s Ode to Love this week and then on Monday we’ll have some fun on Carnival! from Rio and get ready for Ash Wednesday and the Holy Lenten Season.