JOIN ME for Day 9 – Our Last Day? We’ve been spending 9 days in the Upper Room of our hearts with both 💘 Saints & Sinners preparing to celebrate the true meaning behind Saint Valentine’s Day:
📖 READ SCRIPTURE:
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.John 14:7-8
As we’ve been spending time with God’s Beloved King David this week and others, it should be apparent to us now that God is immensely in love with us. Not because we’re perfect, but because we are His children. He loves us with a Father’s love that can never be rescinded. No matter how defiled our hearts may get, He is always there ready to embrace us when our hearts will return to Him.
Why? Because God is love.
As Christopher West explains in his teachings on Pope Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, “God is always the one who initiates love, because he is love.” Apart from Him, we cannot love Him, ourselves, or anyone else nor could we have the power to repent.
What could poor King David do when he sinned without Love abiding at his door? Where would all the saints be now without Love purifying their hearts? How could we have a hope of any kind without Love making an offering of itself to us?
The answer is: we cannot do anything without Love. Like the Apostle Paul reminds us, “without love, we are nothing” (1 Cor. 13). That is to say, we are nothing without God. If we pursue the gifts of the Holy Spirit “if we speak in tongues, if we prophesy” without Love, we gain nothing, because indeed we have nothing. No one being given a gift throws away the gift and keeps only the box and its shiny wrappings. If we do not open our hearts to receiving all of The Gift, we have not received any of it.
So how should we respond to Love’s Gift? How do we say thank you to our heart’s Beloved Valentine who has pursued us throughout the ages calling out “I Love You” from the dawn of creation?
We say it back, “I love you too, God; I love you too.”
We receive The Gift by acknowledging to the One who has given it that we accept it with all our heart. We reciprocate God’s initiation of love by initiating it back to Him and to others. “Beloved, let us love one another…anyone who does not love does not [receive] God.”
This Valentine’s Day, you won’t need to buy God flowers, or chocolates, or take Him out to dinner, or even buy Him a Hallmark card. The simplest most meaningful way to show God you love him today is to simply respond to Him with the fullness of your heart. And when you give Him your heart, all of it, you will see that the love He has given you is not for keeping it to ourselves, but for sharing it with others. As He has given us, so let us give it back to Him by telling or showing someone today, “I love you too.”
In this way, we become part of what Christopher West calls “the Holy Fireball of Love,” which is the Trinity. The Father pours himself completely into the Son; the Son pours himself completely back into the Father, and from the exchange of Love the Holy Spirit initiates their total gift of Love to each of us. We are each called and invited to participate in this Divine exchange of Love, simply by mirroring it ourselves with our neighbor. When we make a total gift of the Love we’ve been given and that love is reciprocated back in a total gift of Love, we too give way to the Holy Spirit in our lives here on earth to birth the same “Holy Fireball of Love”; as in Heaven, so below. In this way, we become the image of Christ, which is the image of the Father. “I in them and You in me.”
This exchange of love, Paul describes as a great mystery comparable in earthly terms only to holy matrimony. But for those of us who choose to receive The Gift, we no longer see it as a mystery; because we are living it not with words but with our lives. For “whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”
🍎 SAINT WISDOM:
“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”
–St. Augustine of Hippo
“Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor… Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.”
–Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
“The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it works great things. But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist.”
–Pope St. Gregory the Great
Pure love … knows that only one thing is needed to please God: to do even the smallest things out of great love – love, and always love. (140)
–Divine Mercy in My Soul, St. Faustina
🕊 LET US PRAY:
Father, thank you for sending to us today the Best Valentine’s Day Gift (Ever!) your Beloved Son, Jesus, to show to us your love for us. He is The Gift of your love. Holy Spirit, Come! Help empower us to learn how to most fully receive Him.
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 I may have the courage to show God’s love to others, to let it not be hidden but to let it shine forth for the sake of letting other souls know just how much they are loved by Love. In the Holy name of Jesus, King of My Heart, Amen.