Love is the best gift this world has to offer. It breaks my heart that there are so many souls who are born, live, and die without experiencing true love. This world is full of heartache and pain as well as some wonderful, thrilling and exciting experiences. None is worth experiencing without love. St Valentine was a man who knew true love. His name is associated with valentines, flowers and chocolates; but the love he lived by and showered on those in his spiritual community was much richer than trite sentiments or frivolous gifts. He showed the world true love. When a person can shower others with love, it is evidence that they have received the love God pours into our hearts. St Valentine gave practical, sacrificial gifts of love to help the people in his care follow Christ’s instructions for marriage in his society. The love that motivated St. Valentine was the love he received from Christ. That kind of love is better than any other.
If you didn’t get flowers or chocolates on Valentine’s Day, there is no need to despair. People who have received flowers and chocolate have a thrill that lasts for a moment. Only when they are sent with love behind them do they really matter. That love is not confined to a day of the year. That love is one of the greatest joys lasting for a lifetime and beyond.
I love the quote, “To love another person is to see the face of God.” I have found this to be true in my life. Like St. Valentine, when I love another person sacrificially I feel the presence of God in my heart. I feel a joy that comes from Him. My heart feels exactly as Paul describes in Romans 5:5:
“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
The love God pours into my heart through the Holy Spirit is my one true love. I’m not kidding you about the power of the love of God being poured into your heart through the Holy Spirit. His love transforms my heart. It strengthens my heart. It warms my heart. His love then overflows from my heart to others. When I am full of God’s love, I can be with others in a manner far removed from my natural state. I want the best for them. I don’t need them to give me something to fulfill my empty heart. I am free to love them for God’s sake.
If you didn’t get a valentine this year, or even if you did and the thrill has gone, I want to invite you to focus your heart on the season of Lent. I love that Valentine’s Day and Lent are so close this year. On February 18, Ash Wednesday will mark that it is 47 days until Lent. This includes 40 days of fasting. The Sundays are never thought to be fasting days since they are the day Christians celebrate the completed work of Christ on earth. There is no better season to open your heart to your true love. Use this season to prepare your heart to receive the greatest Valentine the world has ever known. Good Friday is the most beautiful Valentine anyone could receive. It is not trivial. It will not satisfy only for a moment. It is the Valentine that when received in your heart will overflow into others’ hearts as well.
Consider choosing a spiritual discipline, a fast, alms giving, and prayer that will open your heart deeper to the love of God. Find the satisfaction of your true love.