Valentine’s Day Reflections 2008
February 14 is Valentine’s Day, a day focused on love. Marketers have been promoting their products for several weeks now – trying to convince us that their particular product is the best possible way to say “I love you” to that special someone in our lives. And lots of us will buy something to express our love for those special people with whom we share our lives.
I remember one year when I received a waffle iron for Valentine’s Day. The women at the shop where my husband was getting his hair cut were horrified that he would get a small kitchen appliance for me. But he was right – I was thrilled. I love waffles and the old waffle iron I’d gotten 10 years earlier at a garage sale had finally broken – metal fatigue. It was a wonderful gift. We had waffles for dinner that night!
Valentine’s Day is a feast whose origins are found in legends about holy men who lived long ago. We don’t know much about St. Valentine, or even which man he actually was – there were several Valentines who were martyred in ancient days. The name means worthy and was popular in Roman times.
Many of the traditions related to Valentine’s day had their origins in the Middle Ages. It was believed then that birds began to choose their mates in mid-February, so the day seemed appropriate for celebrating romantic love. Fr. James McSweeney, on his website, www.todayismygifttoyou.com has a couple of lovely pieces about St. Valentine and love today.
Another essay I found this morning is by Timothy Chambers, a philosophy teacher at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. He talks about love potions mentioned in old legends and about what is really necessary for love – the stuff that can’t come out of a bottle. Of course, physical attraction is important in human love (and it might conceivably be produced by a “love potion”), but even more important are memories of happy times together, trust and faith in the beloved and the free choice to love in bad times as well as in the good times.
My wish for you today is that you know love. A love deeper than the sea and higher than the sky. The love that fills your being with the unshakeable certainty that nothing can ever come between you and the Lover, between you and your Creator. You are loved and loveable because you were loved into existence and are held in existence by that same love. Just as you are. With all your gifts and faults. You are loved.
Peace be with you. Now and always. Happy Valentine’s Day.