Happy Valentine’s Day! True Love is faithful love ~ How do you measure up?

Flagler Beach Florida sunrise / bob traupman.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, EVERYONE!

We’ve been reflecting on St. Paul’s eloquent words about love from I Corinthians 13. And this is my final post on the subject.

Love is not pompous,

it is not inflated,

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.

Romantic love wears off in a few months.  True love requires fidelity and is long-lasting.  I often remember people I met briefly twenty or thirty years ago and there is still a place in my heart for them, even those who turned out to reject me.  And when I think of them I believe my prayer is able to touch them even now, either living or dead.

We think we know all about love. Yet Love is  an Art and a Discipline that is only learned and acquired by trial and error.  Thus, we have to learn how to love.  Or perhaps unlearn what we have learned in abusive homes  or families and find people who can teach us well.  I am profoundly grateful for the people who allowed my soul to unfold and blossom because of their love.

When I taught high school seniors (50 years ago!) I had them read two books,  Erich Fromm’s Art of Loving and Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. Both books still should be required reading by anyone who wants to become a whole and healed human person.

Many of us keep focusing on finding the right object of our love.  Fromm — and Jesus — tell us that being a person who is capable of loving the stranger in the checkout line at the 7-11 or your sibling whose guts you can’t stand is the way we will learn to love.

Love is being free to love the one you’re with so you can be with the one you love.

It is just not possible to love some and hate others.  St. John says, “Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer.” (1 John 3:15)  

And yet, in today’s America, I wonder what kind of leadership and example we are setting for our children when our political and business leaders seek to take revenge on their opponents instead of striving to be true noble patriots instead of petulant bullies. 

Love is being able to see and respond to the loving energy of the universe and spread it around instead of trying to possess it for oneself.

Love is faithfully loving whomever God puts in our life at every turn of our life’s journey. A hard task sometimes. I know.

How often we fail.  But that’s what growth in love and Christian spirituality is all about. Sometimes it requires a heroic effort and sacrificial love ~ the love of Jesus, the Love of God for us.

And so here’s my final prayer for this Valentine’s Day . . . .

Good and gracious God,

We live in a world that gives us so few models of faithful love.

Help us to learn the art and discipline of loving.

Help us to understand that we cannot love one person ~ even ourselves ~ unless we let love ~ rather than hate ~ flow from our heart to touch and heal and nourish those around us.

Heal us, Lord.

Let us trust in You for you are the Source of all Love,

Your Love is flowing like a river giving life to everything along the way,

a river from our own hearts to everyone we meet this day. 

I also ask your blessing on all married couples and those engaged to be married.

It’s not easy to be faithful in this world today.

Pour out your abundant blessing upon them in all their struggles.

Renew their love and their joy this day and all the days of their lives.

Amen.

And now before you go, wouldn’t you like to hear a romantic melody for your beloved?  Well, here’s a very unique one: Cold Play’s True Love  Click here. 

With love

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

And here is the entire text of St. Paul’s Ode to Love (I Corinthians 13)  Savor each line 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

Jilted Lovers

img_0951Dear Friends,

Our society finds it quite acceptable for people to hop into one relationship after another or just satisfy their needs by”hooking up”.

How many times have young people thought that this was the person of their dreams and been dumped by a rude text message ~ or done the dumping themselves?

How many marriages have ended when one spouse shows up in the kitchen and announces, “I want a divorce!”  No discussion.  No attempt to work out problems.  No mercy.  No forgiveness.   It’s over.  Done.

And what happens is that we may add one unsuccessful relationship on top of another.  As a result, our heart can become more and more wounded. And less and less trusting, less and less capable of loving .  . . unless we somehow find a way to believe again, to hope again.

So, let’s take a deeper look at the truth and the transforming power of St. Paul’s words in I Corinthians 13 we’re reflecting on in this series “What is Love?”

LOVE . . .

. . .  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.

We just have to learn to love anyway.

At least, that’s what St. Paul is getting at “Love does not brood over injuries.”

In the Art of Loving, psychoanalyst Erich Fromm’s classic book written in 1956, consider his statement that will blow most of us out of the water:

“Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person:  it is an attitude, an orientation of character which determines the relatedness of a person to the world as a whole, not toward one “object” of love.  If a person loves only one person and is indifferent to the rest of his fellow men, his love is not love but a symbiotic attachment  or an enlarged egotism . . . If I truly love one person I love all persons, I love the world; I love life.  If I can say to somebody else, “I love you,” I must be able to say”I love in you everybody.   I love through you the world, I love in you also myself” ~ p. 39.)

This is, of course, the heart of Jesus’ message, but many, if not most of us who say we’re his followers still don’t get it.

 As tech opportunities for “communication” proliferate the less we communicate.  We communicate more and more on a superficial level.  You can’t really know someone through texting or on Facebook or in an email.  A person can present a false persona. The only real way to communicate with someone is to be in their presence using all our senses.

We need to learn, once again how to come to true intimacy ~ the coming together of two or more persons who have the courage open themselves to the transformative power of love.

If you are one who seeks that, I’m with you.   That’s what my writing is about.

Good and gracious God,

we ask you to heal the hearts that are broken.

Help us to see even in the midst of our brokenness the depth of Your Love for us.

And may we see Your brokenness when we reject Your love.

We may feel we cannot take the risk to open our hearts once more.

Give us the courage and strength to stop destructive patterns that lead only to more pain.

Give us hope, Lord.

Instead of seeking to find our true love,

let us simply become persons who love —

. . . whomever we’re with,

. . . to grow in our capacity to love that we can hold the whole world in our embrace

as You do at every moment,

in every time and place.

To You, God of our understanding,

we give You praise, now and forever.

AMEN!

Now before you go, look at that tree above weathering the mountaintop at 8000 feet.  It has been jilted by the weather.  But it still stands nobly and proudly — broken, gnarled and twisted — but a fine lesson to us of the meaning of life.

And here is the entire text of St. Paul’s Ode to Love (I Corinthians 13) once again.   Savor each phrase 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,  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, but the greatest of these is love.  1 Corinthians 13

Now, before you go, here’s the Beatles singing “All my loving” with lyrics. Click here.

With Love, 

Bob Traupman

Contemplative Writer

Ode to Love

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IMG_1177Many of us are thinking of our Valentine’s these days — our lovers,  intend-eds, spouses, classmates, mothers . . .  At least Hallmark would have us “send the very best.”

So, what is love?

I’ve officiated at the marriages of many young couples during my years as a priest who’ve 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

Dearest God,

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 understand 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.

Amen!

Before  you go, take a moment to listen to Bette Midler’s “The Rose”. Click here. Turn up your speakers and be sure to enter full screen and have a great day!

I’ll be publishing some more Valentine’s blogs, interspersed with some for Carnival and Ash Wednesday, which is early this year ~ February 10th and. of course, Valentine’s Day, is on the 14th, a Sunday this year.

With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

Ode to Love

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Many of us are thinking of our Valentine’s these days — our lovers,  intend-eds, spouses, classmates, mothers . . .  At least Halmark would have us “send the very best.”

So, what is love?

I’ve officiated at the marriages of many young couples  over the nearly 45 years of my priesthood who’ve 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


Dearest God,

You are Love itself.

We give you thanks for the people in our lives 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 apostle 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.

Amen!


Before  you go, take a moment to listen to Bette Midler’s The Rose. Click here. Turn up your speakers and be sure to enter full screen and have a great day!


With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

Ode to Love

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Editor’s Note: Over the next 10 days, you’ll be exposed to a pot-pourri  of themes.  First, I’ll do a series on St. Paul’s famous Ode to Love.  But connected to that, a group has selected Valentine’s Day to draw attention to violence against women world-wide, so I will be incorporating that as well.  But to complicate things further, Lent begins the day before Valentine’s Day (the 13th), with its traditional Mardi Gras celebration running up to that.  It will be confusing and hopefully a bit of fun, too.  So, let’s start with this .  .  .

Many of us are thinking of our Valentine’s these days — our lovers,  intend-eds, spouses, classmates, mothers . . .  At least Halmark would have us “send the very best.”

So, what is love?

I’ve officiated at the marriages of many young couples  over the 44 years of my priesthood who’ve chosen  St. Paul’s Ode to Love for their wedding Mass.

It has got to be one of the most wonderful 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


Dearest God,

You are Love itself.

We give you thanks for the people in our lives 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.

Amen!


Before  you go, take a moment to listen to Bette Midler’s The Rose. Click here. Turn up your speakers and be sure to enter full screen and have a great day!


With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

Ode to Love

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turtle-puppy love  (c) bob traupman 2009. all rights reserved.turtle-puppy love

Dear Friends and Lovers everywhere,

Many of us are thinking of our Valentine’s these days — our lovers,  intendeds, spouses, classmates, mothers . . .

So, what is love?

I have officiated at the marriages of many young couples  over the 43 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 wonderful 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


Dearest God,

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.

Amen!


Before  you go, take a moment to listen to Bette Midler’s The Rose. Turn up up your speakers and be sure to enter full screen and have a great day!


With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

P.S.  I believe the loving energy of the universe flows through the eyes of the little creatures.  Note that both Shivvy and his friend are looking at you.  When you encounter a little one, take a moment to make eye contact with it and see what I mean.  We need to have reverence and respect for ALL LIFE!!!