Thursday, February 14, 2019
Valentine’s Day/world marriage day
Psalm 128, Verse 1-4:
1 Blessed are all who fear the LORD, and who walk in his ways. 2 What your hands provide you will enjoy; you will be blessed and prosper: 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your home, your children like young olive plants around your table.4 Just so will the man be blessed who fears the LORD.
Those who fear the Lord work to not react to their feelings but act from the principle of God’s unconditional love to empower others even at personal cost. They practice the three cardinal virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity. The act of blessing works both ways and bless’ all; both those who receive and those who give.
This psalm is a statement that the ever-reliable God will bless the reverent. God’s blessing is concrete: satisfaction and prosperity, a fertile spouse and abundant children. The perspective is that of the adult male, ordinarily the ruler and representative of the household to the community. The last verses extend the blessing to all the people for generations to come.
Valentine's Day is a celebration of love and friendship. The holiday derived its name from two Roman martyrs for love, both named Valentine. The first Valentine was beheaded on February 14th, but not before leaving a note signed from your Valentine for his lady. The second Valentine was supposedly a bishop who secretly married young couples, an act that was forbidden by the Roman Emperor who wanted young men to first serve as soldiers before marrying. Valentine ignored the law and was beheaded on February 14. An ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia, a celebration for which young men randomly chose the name of a young girl to escort to the festivities, has also been linked to the origins of Valentine's Day. Since then, the custom of selecting a sweetheart on February 14th has spread through Europe and its colonies and transformed itself into the celebration of love and friendship that we know today.
Valentine's Day Facts & Quotes
· According to the National Retail Federation, the projected total Valentine's Day spending for 2018 was $19.6 billion. The average person was projected to spend $143.56. Candy was the most popular gift, and the most money was spent on jewelry.
· Symbols for Valentine's day include hearts, chocolate, flowers, and Cupid - the Roman God of Love.
· 52% of US consumers will send out at least 1 Valentine's Day card, 47% will send candy, and 34% will send flowers.
· Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind. And therefore, is winged Cupid painted blind. - William Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night's Dream)
Valentine's Day Top Events and Things to Do
· Send someone you care for a Valentine's Day card. Take the time to write a small note or love poem inside. Sign it, from your Valentine.
· Go to a special romantic dinner with your sweetheart. Tip: Book early as this is one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants.
· Watch the movie Valentine's Day (2010) or the Notebook (2004). Both are romance movies with star casts.
· Send a Secret Valentine to someone several days before, and then reveal your identity on February 14th.
· Remember other important people in your life, such as your parents, grandparents and old friends. Send them a small card or gift to remind them of how much you care.
Catholic Things to Do
· Read the Golden Legend account of St. Valentine's life.
· Pray to St. Valentine for an increase of true, sacrificial love within marriages.
· Make Valentines for those closest to you — your family and friends. If you have children, teach them to make valentines from red construction paper and doilies.
· Begin to read and discuss some of St. John Paul II's works on marriage; for example, Love and Responsibility or his The Theology of the Body Human Love in the Divine Plan (Parish Resources).
The Two Ends or Purposes of Marriage
Marriage has two fundamental ends or purposes towards which it is oriented, namely, the good of the spouses as well as the procreation of children. Thus, the Church teaches that marriage is both unitive and procreative, and that it is inseparably both.
Pope John Paul II ‘s theology of the body speaks of the human body as having a spousal significance. This means that the human body by its very nature signifies that we humans are directed to relationship—that we are to seek union with others. For it is only in relationship that we achieve a true wholeness as a communion of persons. Before Eve was created, Adam was alone. His joy upon perceiving Eve indicated that with Eve he achieved the―original unity that human nature seeks. God clearly made human beings to love and to be loved, to be in relationships wherein the act of giving oneself and receiving the other becomes complete. In this context, the word ―original means not only that these experiences go back to the dawn of human history but, more importantly, that they are key to understanding our most basic human experiences. The experience of Adam and Eve speaks powerfully to our search not only to understand ourselves but also to love and be loved, to be in a relationship of love with a person of the opposite sex. God established marriage so that man and woman could participate in his love and thus selflessly give themselves to each other in love. A man and a woman who by their act of consent are no longer two but one flesh (see Mt 19:6ff.) render mutual help and service to each other through an intimate union of their persons and of their actions.―My lover belongs to me and I to him (Song 2:16; see Song6:3).With all the dignity and simplicity of poetry, the Bride in the Song of Songs sings of the unitive meaning of married love.―You have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride. . . . How beautiful is your love! (Song 4:9-10). So responds the Bridegroom of the Song, overcome with the wonder of conjugal love that is extended to him by the Bride. This is the love that is strong as death (see Song 8:6b). Just as beautifully, Tobiah prays with his wife, Sarah, on their wedding night, awestruck at the mercy of the God of their fathers, that is, the God of the covenant, in bringing them together in a union of true conjugal love: Blessed are you, O God of our fathers; praised be your name forever and ever. Let the heavens and all your creation praise you forever. You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve to be his help and support; and from these two the human race descended. You said, ―It is not good for the man to be alone; let us make him a partner like himself. Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine not because of lust, but for a noble purpose. Call down your mercy on me and on her and allow us to live together to a happy old age. (Tb 8:5-7) The love that is as strong as death is the love that prays and praises, caught up into divine love.
It is the nature of love to overflow, to be life-giving. Thus, it is no surprise that marriage is ordained not only to growing in love but to transmitting life: ―by its very nature the institution of marriage and married love [is]ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory. Married love itself is ordered to the procreation of children, for, after all, the first command given to Adam and Eve is―be fertile and multiply (Gn 1:28). Tobiah ‘s prayer, even as it asks for a happy and lifelong union, remembers that the human race descended from Adam and Eve. His prayer for happiness certainly includes, even if implicitly, a prayer for offspring. God indeed sends the couple seven sons (Tb 14:3) and long life (Tb 14:14). Again, in the words of the Second Vatican Council: Children are the supreme gift of marriage. . .. Without intending to underestimate the other ends of marriage, it must be said that true married love and the family life which flows from it have this end in view: that the spouses would cooperate generously with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them will in due time increase and enrich his family. Children are a gift in a myriad of ways. They bring joy even in the midst of heartaches; they give added direction to the lives of their parents. Children, who are the fruit of love and meaningful commitment, are a cause of love and meaning. It is true that some marriages will not result in procreation due to infertility, even though the couple is capable of the natural act by which procreation takes place. Indeed, this situation often comes as a surprise and can be a source of deep disappointment, anxiety, and even great suffering for a husband and wife. When such tragedy affects a marriage, a couple may be tempted to think that their union is not complete or truly blessed. This is not true. The marital union of a man and a woman is a distinctive communion of persons. An infertile couple continues to manifest this attribute. Even when their child-bearing years have passed, a couple should continue to be life-affirming. They can do this by staying involved in the lives of young people, and especially their grandchildren, as spiritual mentors, teachers, and wisdom figures. They can also continue to be nurturing through the exercise of care for those who are needy, disabled, or pushed to the margins of society, and by their support for or participation in works of charity and justice.
The Way Penance
"Read these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in the end you will be a more worthy soul."
You are afraid of penance?... Of penance, which will help you to obtain Life everlasting. And yet, in order to preserve this poor present life, don't you see how men will submit to all the cruel torture of a surgical operation?
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