We all know what Valentine’s Day is all about – roses, chocolates, stuffed bears, etc… Droves of men stop on the way home from work to pick up flowers. Kids write cards to their friends with buzz-phrases and cute pictures. While these things may not seem important in and of themselves, what is important is taking the time to act on our love. In doing so, we honor our love.
Valentine’s Day is kind of like the ‘push-up tree‘ – it’s planted in the middle of the year to remind us of what we should be doing in the first place.
St. Valentine was a Roman priest at the time of Emperor Claudias (who banned marriage because he felt soldiers would fight better if they weren’t worrying about wives and family). Valentine so believed in the sacrament of marriage that he performed them in secret, was eventually caught, imprisoned, tortured, and killed.
It’s said that Valentine would smuggle love letters in and out of jails to persecuted Christians from their loved ones – the first Valentines.
A legend still told dating back all the way to 490 AD – There is no doubt, St. Valentine was willing to stand up for love. He withstood actual torture, understanding that people need love to be whole – to express ourselves and feel life’s greatest joys.
What are you willing to do for love? Will you act out of your love for your family, friends, community, and your faith? Will you defend it, even in the midst of brutal adversity? Does your relationship with your spouse still breed these feelings? If not, why? How did you feel the first time you held your child? How about the first time you hugged your partner as they returned from a deployment or long trip?
Can you imagine if we felt love that deep all the time? What’s stopping us?
St. Valentine was beaten, stoned, and beheaded in defense of love – chocolates, flowers, and stuffed bears suddenly don’t seem like such a big price to pay.
Maybe we can do more.