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God's Guide to Love

Thoughts for Valentine's Day

BY Amy Smith

| Posted 2/14/11 at 1:25 PM

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God gave us the best — and original — love letter (the Bible), as well as instructions (Ten Commandments) and companion manual (Catechism). He knows love because he is love.

As St. Paul wrote in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The Little Flower wrote of how loving God helps us love others: “I can see with joy that in loving him the heart expands and can give to those who are dear to it incomparably more tenderness than if it had concentrated upon one egotistical and unfruitful love.”

“The proof of love is in the works,” noted Pope St. Gregory the Great. “Where love exists, it works great things. But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist.”

And one of my favorite saints, the patron of journalists, Francis de Sales, rightly observed: “You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working, and just so, you learn to love by loving.”

And Pope Benedict XVI gets to the heart of love in his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love): “Love of neighbor is thus shown to be possible in the way proclaimed by the Bible, by Jesus. It consists in the very fact that, in God and with God, I love even the person whom I do not like or even know. This can only take place on the basis of an intimate encounter with God, an encounter which has become a communion of will, even affecting my feelings. Then I learn to look on this other person not simply with my eyes and my feelings, but from the perspective of Jesus Christ. His friend is my friend. Going beyond exterior appearances, I perceive in others an interior desire for a sign of love, of concern. … Seeing with the eyes of Christ, I can give to others much more than their outward necessities; I can give them the look of love which they crave.”

Good things to reflect upon on Valentine’s Day.