Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine...All The Time

This past weekend, this was my article for my parish's bulletin, in which I have a weekly column as Religious Education Director. I thought it would be worthwhile to share here, too!

Yesterday, we celebrated Valentine’s Day. Despite what many think, this is not just another Hallmark holiday or a get-you-to-spend-more-money tactic. For the Christian, and especially for the Catholic Christian, Saint Valentine’s Day is much richer. The roses you received will wither in a few days, and the chocolate may disappear too quickly (before reappearing on your hips or waist), but the meaning of the day doesn’t have to be so temporary. Love is about much more than flowers, balloons, chocolates, poetic cards, or warm feelings. How many spouses get motivated to do something memorable and romantic on February 14, and then return to Mr. or Mrs. Grouch the next day? Yesterday’s card may have said “I Love You”, but how about their actions?

There is a fabulous new movie (just released January 27 on DVD) which tells a powerful story of a husband learning how to truly love his wife…authentically and unconditionally. Fireproof is a brilliant combination of tenderness, action, intensity, and humor. Its message is one of inspiration and hope for everyone, married couples and singles alike. (Check out http://www.fireproofthemovie.com/).

The challenge to you today, then, is this: don’t let the “Valentine spirit” droop as quickly as those roses will. True love is not just expressed in the costly gift, but in the giving of oneself. It can be much easier to bare one’s wallet than it is to bare one’s heart.

If we want a picture of love, all we need do is look at the cross. Jesus Christ, Love incarnate, came to show us that love equals sacrifice. Are you willing to lay down your life – or at the very least, your comforts or preferences – for the sake of the one you love?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just saw Fireproof and I loved it!!!
Christi

Stephanie said...

I have a question...why did you use the phrase "for the Christian and the Catholic"? In this country Catholics often have to spend a lot of time defending the fact that we ARE Christians, and the original Christians at that.

Claire said...

Stephanie,

Thanks for your point! I really meant "for the one who is Catholic and Christian", but I could see how it could be misinterpreted by those who don't think we are Christians! I have altered the wording to be more clear.

God bless!