Tuesday, February 12, 2013

That Love Holiday

In just a few days, that holiday will be here. You know. The one about chocolates and flowers and romance.

Or is that what it's about?

I've always had mixed feelings about Valentine's Day. I really get into all the lace and hearts and anything pink. It's very feminine and festive, you know?

Yet sometimes I'm bothered by the secular celebration of the holiday. The way lust and emotions are focused on rather than sacrificial love and commitment. The way single men and women are left in the dust to struggle with loneliness, heartache, or jealousy. And let's not forget about the commercialism! I heard somewhere recently that the average American couple spend $126 on each other for Valentine's Day! Are you serious?!

Despite how costly Valentine's Day can be for that average American couple, I'm convinced

that we've cheapened love.

Because tonight when I look up at the crucifix above my bed, I see the truest sign of love I've ever known. And that gift of love didn't cost the Man a cent.

But it did cost His life.

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)

Ladies, my prayer for you this Valentine's Day is that you know and experience Christ's love for you in a deeply personal way this year. I cannot emphasize enough that He knows you so deeply and intimately and He loves you in a way you've never been loved before, a way you can't begin to comprehend. A way that fills you and completes you and satisfies you.

Take a moment to allow that to sink in. Even if you know it. Because every single one of us can't reflect on that truth enough.

And after we receive that love and allow it to fill our hearts to overflowing...He does ask one thing of us.

Love one another as I love you. (John 15:12)

I know some of you have husbands and boyfriends and fiancees this week. I know some of you are aching for a special man in your life--and oh, how I understand, sweet sisters! I've been there! I know some of you have taken the Lord as your spouse in religious life--or will someday. But every one of us--no matter our vocation--is called to receive the love of our God and to share it with others.

Maybe that means buying a bouquet of flowers for a friend who just went through a breakup. Maybe that means sending a card in the mail to an eldery shut-in from your parish. Maybe that means sitting in an Adoration chapel just letting God love on you. Maybe that means treating your boyfriend with purity, as a precious child of God. Maybe that means holding back the complaint on the tip of your tongue when your husband gets home late from work.

That love holiday is coming up this week. Let's show the world what real love looks like--and point them to the One who first showed us.

[And while we're celebrating love and Valentine's Day and all that...why don't you stop by Catholic Young Woman on February 14th and sign up for our very first book giveaway?!]


  1. This is a really wonderful reminder to me of how infinite God's love is. I think we tend to overemphasize romantic love. And yet the most perfect love is God's love for us. We can't expect one human to fulfill our desire to be loved by God.

  2. What a beautiful post! You have captured the way I feel about Valentine's Day, and I trust the way many other young women feel about the holiday. Thank you for sharing Jesus' Love with us!

    ~Katie Marie

  3. Wow, this is wonderful! My family never has really celebrated this holiday, so I was kind of looking forward to celebrating it this year with my first ever boyfriend. I had hopes that, even though we were apart for the holiday, he would still make it feel special. I had heard lots of stories about how men forget these special times, so I was not really expecting much. We had scheduled a Skype date for that day, and I had already sent my box to him a few days before. Well, the Skype turned out to be quite disappointing for several different reasons and I did not receive a gift from him that day. I thought that perhaps it had gotten lost in the mail, so I was much more patient and was let down slowly. (He never sent a gift for me.) But, that night on my 12 hour shift at a local factory, I had lots of time to think about what was really important about St. Valentine's Day. I knew it was not just appreciating the women in your life, but it was for everyone to feel love in celebration of St. Valentine's heroic sacrifice and his devotion to Our Lord and his love of the Blessed Sacrament of Matrimony. That explanation, though good, still did not sit completely right with me. After reading this post, I was able to see what I was missing in my thoughts that night, what idea I was unable to put my finger on as a main, Catholic reason for the feast of St. Valentine's Day, well, besides the obvious Saint's day. So, thank you for helping me to see this side of the feast! (I came home the next morning in happier spirits than when I left for work and, to my astonishment, found an amazing email in which my boyfriend wrote up the night before saying that he felt bad about the disastrous Skype and he had gone ahead and took my advice on reading two books that I had sent down to him a few weeks before. It definitely spoke all the love that I needed!)


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