Recently, I nixed a request to promote a Valentine’s Day party whose theme was “losers.” It is a party for those who will not have a date on February 14. I get that it is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but I still think it’s wrong. It bugs me the way that Catholicism for Dummies bugs me. Catholicism doesn’t need to be dumbed down and Valentine’s Day is not just a couples only event. In fact, as was recently pointed out by Sheldon, of the T.V. show the Big Bang Theory (the daily life of socially awkward, geeky scientists), it is a curious association between St. Valentine, the third century priest -martyr and the Hallmark crazed contemporary celebration. For Sheldon’s take, watch this:
While I don’t want to endorse the “Sheldon-alternative Valentine’s Day plan,” I do want to offer a “Valentine poem” of a different sort. This is a prayer written by Pedro Arrupe, a former Superior General of the Jesuits. I think the prayer captures not only the source of real love but what real love looks and feels like. I may have shared this prayer before in this space, but I think it is good enough for a repeat.
Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is,
than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination,
will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out
of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings,
how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you
know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy
Fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything.