JOIN ME for Day 8? We’re spending 9 days in the Upper Room of our hearts with both 💘 Saints & Sinners as we prepare to celebrate the true meaning behind Saint Valentine’s Day:
📖 READ SCRIPTURE:
“Love is patient, love is kind.”1 Corinthians 13:4
In the thirteenth chapter of his first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul sings a hymn to love. He tells us that love is “patient, gentle, kind, not snobbish” and that it “never fails.” Love, after all, is what God is: willing the good of the other as other. When we love, therefore, we are sharing in the very life of God.
When we love, we escape the black hole of our own clinging egotism and live for someone else; to love is to leap ecstatically out of thy self.
And this is why, Paul explains, “Love is patient, love is kind.” Many of us are good or just to someone else so that he or she, in turn, might be good or just to us. This is not love, but rather indirect egotism. When we are caught in the rhythm of that sort of reciprocal exchange, we are very impatient with any negative response to a positive overture that we have made. If someone responds to our kindness with hostility or even indifference, we quickly withdraw our benevolence. But the person characterized by true love is not interested in reciprocation but simply in the good of the other, and therefore he is willing to wait out any resistance.
He is long-suffering and kind.
This is also why, as Paul insists, “love is not jealous, it is not pompous, it is not inflated.” Envy says, “when a friend of mine succeeds, something in me dies.” True love hasn’t a thing to do with this sort of resentment, for it wants the success of the other. And the person who loves is not conceited, because she feels no need to raise herself above the other. Do we actually want the other to be elevated? Are we actually willing to take the lower place with joy?
Once we understand the nature of true love, we know why “It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Because the one who loves is not focused on himself but on the object of his love, he is not preoccupied with his own weariness or disappointment or frustration. Instead he looks ahead, hoping against hope, attending to the needs of the one he loves.
🍎 SAINT WISDOM:
‘The person who loves God cannot help loving every man as himself, even though he is grieved by the passions of those who are not yet purified. But when they amend their lives, his delight is indescribable and knows no bounds. A soul filled with thoughts of sensual desire and hatred is unpurified. If we detect any trace of hatred in our hearts against any man whatsoever for committing any fault, we are utterly estranged from love for God, since love for God absolutely precludes us from hating any man.’
–St. Maximos the Confessor
🕊 LET US PRAY:
Dearest Father, thank you for infusing us with your love; that we might be able to love others with your love; the purest kind of love. Jesus you became for us the image of love poured out. Help me remember you on the cross each time my love is lacking in patience, belief, hope and endurance. Holy Spirit, Come! Grant me the grace to love others as Jesus has loved me.
Blessed Mother of Our Lord, Blessed Saint Joseph “Shadow of the Father,” Holy angels and saints of Heaven, especially Saint Valentine, pray for me, that my heart may become more like God’s. I want to be Love not just in Love. Guide me in the Lord’s graces that I may love others and myself as Jesus first loved us. In the Holy name of Jesus, King of My Heart, Amen.