So. I will think about other things. Lovely things. Beautiful thoughts and sights. As my grandmother told her children, “think beautiful thoughts of nature”, and my mother said, “think quiet thoughts”, so I shall.
Love, in all of its manifestations, is the greatest thing that we have. As the Love Chapter concludes, And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
As humans, the first love we experience is our Parents’ Love. It is our shelter from the world as we grow and develop into the persons we will be. In an ideal world, each child would have this parental love to protect and guide him.
A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.
John 16:21 (NIV)
Then there is the Love of Friends – love that will carry us through our lives.
A Time to Talk
By Robert Frost
When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, ‘What is it?’
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.
May our friendship last forever
by Nicholas Gordon
May our friendship last forever;
May I sail upon your sea.
May we go through life together;
May there always be a “we.”
May I be your endless sky;
May you breathe my gentle air.
May you never wonder why
Each time you look for me, I’m there.
May we be for each a smile
Like the warm, life-giving sun;
Yet when we’re in pain awhile,
May our suffering be one.
May we share our special days,
The happiness of one for two;
And if we must go separate ways,
Let my love remain with you.
Romantic love – what we think of first when the word “love” is spoken – is endlessly discussed. Poems and books by the bucket load are written, and music composed, and paintings painted.
by William Shakespeare
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love,
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
Oh, no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests.. and is never shaken.
It is the star to every wandering bark
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love is not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come.
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out.. even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
How Do I Love Thee?
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth
My soul can reach,
when feeling out of sight.
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need,
by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely,
as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely,
as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion
put to use In my old griefs,
and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,
–I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears,
of all my life!
–and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Not a great deal is known about Saint Valentine; this is summarized here by Wikipedia:
Saint Valentine (Italian: San Valentino, Latin: Valentinus), officially Saint Valentine of Terni, is a widely recognized third-century Roman saint commemorated on February 14 and since the High Middle Ages is associated with a tradition of courtly love.
All that is reliably known of the saint commemorated on February 14 is his name and that he was martyred and buried at a cemetery on the Via Flaminia close to the Ponte Milvio to the north of Rome on that day. It is uncertain whether St. Valentine is to be identified as one saint or the conflation of two saints of the same name. Several different martyrologies have been added to later hagiographies that are unreliable.
Because so little is reliably known of him, in 1969 the Catholic Church removed his name from the General Roman Calendar, leaving his liturgical celebration to local calendars. The Roman Catholic Church continues to recognize him as a saint, listing him as such in the February 14 entry in the Roman Martyrology, and authorizing liturgical veneration of him on February 14 in any place where that day is not devoted to some other obligatory celebration in accordance with the rule that on such a day the Mass may be that of any saint listed in the Martyrology for that day. Use of the pre-1970 liturgical calendar is also authorized under the conditions indicated in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of 2007. Saint Valentine’s Church in Rome, built in 1960 for the needs of the Olympic Village, continues as a modern, well-visited parish church.
Saint Valentine is commemorated in the Anglican Communion, as well as in Lutheranism. By some of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Saint Valentine the Presbyter of Rome is celebrated on July 6 and Hieromartyr Valentine (Bishop of Interamna, Terni in Italy) is celebrated on July 30. Notwithstanding, because of the relative obscurity of these two saints in the East and since there is no commemoration of St. Valentine in the Greek Orthodox Church, members of the Greek Orthodox Church named Valentinos (male) or Valentina (female) may observe their name day on the Western ecclesiastical calendar date of February 14.