Words of Joy – Valentine’s Day and Love – February 2016

Interim Minister’s Blog

          There is no remedy for love but to love more.  — Henry David Thoreau

Valentine’s Day is certainly a commercial boon, with billions spent on cards, chocolate. Jewelry and flowers, But behind this day stands the basic human desire to express love. Our current Valentine’s Day seems to be descended from ancient mating practices and medieval traditions of courtly love, although its exact origins are obscure. February 14th was originally a saint’s day, named after two Christian saints with the same name, both martyred on February 14th in different years in the Third Century. We hear little about these two saints on February 14th nowadays. In England, America and other countries, Valentine’s Day has come to be more a day for lovers than a saint’s day.

Psychologist Erich Fromm once said “love is the active concern for the life and growth of that which we love.” He believed that love is a decision and a disciplined practice, not a passive feeling.

May we celebrate love this Valentine’s Day and beyond with joy, whenever and wherever and it occurs: between lovers, between parents and children, among dear friends, and that expansive love that motivates us to work for justice, equality and a sense of connectedness with all people and the earth’s creatures. It is a precious gift—the ground root of our being. Through love, we expand our vision, and our lives gain a sense of meaning and purpose.

According to Willard Gaylin, in his book Caring, the ability to love and care may be built right into our genes! How else, he asks, could we human beings, who also have aggressive tendencies toward other humans, have survived? Love is our salvation as a species,

So here’s to the joyous, complex and many-faceted human experience we call love. May it bloom forth abundantly in your life!