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?!]