Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What is Love?

It's Valentine's day, so it's only fitting, right!?

"What is love? Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more."

If you watched the video, it's more like "What is lust?" And unfortunately today, those two "L" words get mixed up too easily. And if people think they won't get hurt with love, then they have a false notion of what love truly means. I might even argue that one doesn't know true love until they experience some sort of hurt or pain from it. We're human, so sometimes we say and do stupid things that hurt those we are closest to, usually without meaning to hurt them, of course. It doesn't always have to be hurt, it could be the sting that comes from missing someone. Whether they are in a different state, deployed in a different country, or have moved on from this world to the next, missing a loved one can hurt. Whatever it is, it always hurts more when it concerns someone we love.

Love isn't a feeling, it's a choice we make every day.

Obviously we should celebrate love every day, not just on Valentine's Day, and of course there are a lot of people who pass it off as another day, saying they don't need a special day to tell someone they love them. While this is true, I think February 14th offers us a great opportunity to reflect on love and celebrate the love that we do have in our life. We don't always tell our loved ones how much we care, whether they are significant others, spouses, or even friends. It's also a day to celebrate God's love. How easy it is to forget the love of our Father. Maybe there is a reason why Valentine's Day falls so close around Lent (and during Lent in some years). Those 40+ days give us a great opportunity to reflect on the love that God has for us and how we can attempt to give even a portion of that love back.

So whether you show your love today with gifts, words of affirmation, or simply spending time with those you love, let it be from the heart and include God in all you do.

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in Love, stay in love, and it will decide everything."
Pedro Arrupe, SJ (former superior general of the Jesuits, 1917-91)

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