(Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more..) ♬
Brace yourselves, this next week and a half will be a blur of red and pink commercialism!
I had a guy friend ask me a few days ago what I, as a young woman, thought of Valentine’s Day. It really got me thinking. Euns and I had already decided to focus primarily on JP II’s Theology of the Body this month here on F&PB and I feel like this is a great opportunity for us to engage in a little self-reflection about relationships and human love.
The YOUCAT is my go-to reference of late. Here’s how it answers the question “What is love?”
“Love is the free self-giving of the heart.  To have a heart full of love means to be so pleased with something that one emerges from oneself and devotes oneself to it. A musician can devote himself to a masterpiece. A kindergarten teacher can be there wholeheartedly for her charges. In every friendship there is love. The most beautiful form of love on earth, however, is the love between man and woman, in which two people give themselves to each other forever. All human love is an image of divine love, in which all love is at home. Love is the inmost being of the Triune God. In God there is continual exchange and perpetual self-giving. Through the overflowing of divine live, we participate in the eternal love of God. The more a person loves, the more he resembles God. Love should influence the whole life of a person, but it is realized with particular depth and symbolism when man and woman love one another and become ‘one flesh.’ (Gen 2:24)” (Youcat 402)
Beauty! Love is self-giving; it is to will the good of another over the fulfillment of one’s own needs. It’s not always easy, or fun, and it will most definitely not always feel great.
The Lord is far more desirable and worthy than any earthly thing but our temporal desires are beautiful and holy too. They are meant to point us towards Him. Marc Barnes has a great article about this sort of thing on his blog Bad Catholic. It is definitely worth a read!