February 07, 2016

Valentine’s Day - Thoughts on Friendship

Since we are rapidly approaching Valentine’s Day, let’s focus our attention on two appropriate subjects: friendship and love. According to Wikipedia, the font of on-line encyclopedic knowledge, Valentine’s Day is known as Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, a celebration observed on February 14 each year. Celebrated in many countries around the world, St. Valentine's Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus.

The day was first associated within Geoffrey Chaucer’s circle of friends as a romantic expression of love in the High Middle Ages (c. 1001–1300 A.D.).  The religious fervor of medieval culture melded nicely with ideas of courtly love. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). In Europe, Saint Valentine's Keys are given to lovers "as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart", as well as to children, in order to ward off epilepsy (called Saint Valentine's Malady). Valentine's Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid.

Here are two thoughts (poems or psalms) from Summa 21.

If you want to have a friend, then be one.
Start by learning how to be a good friend to yourself.
As my father has said: If you do not like yourself;
Can you truly love someone else?

Friendships are an expression of Love.
“I love you" can be translated as:  "I have you as a friend."

A lasting friendship
Combines the security of mutual confidence
With respect for personal beliefs,
And the attributes that make us unique.

We are more likely to sustain a relationship with a friend who shares our values, and
Belief in a moral faith provides the strongest basis for shared values.

We often strive for things which cannot provide us with lasting happiness.
The objects of our desire are transient in time and space.
Beauty will fade, metal will tarnish, and wood will rot.
Wealth provides an empty vessel for the soul.
But lasting friendships are the joy of life.
To love, and be loved, is forever welcome.

Friendships are created from the essence of the Spiritual.
Lasting friendships are not confined by the limits of space and time.
As my father has said:
“I love those who love me”.
“If you seek to be my friend, you will find me.”

My Spouse
My spouse is my best friend.
Love has united two as one.
We comfort and encourage each other.
We share the joys and sorrows of life.

Two are better than one.
Together we are strong.
In moments of distress;
We share a loving hug.

I will be quick to show my love;
And be steadfast in my devotion.
For as we journey through life,
I will often need the love - of my best friend.

By loving others we express our respect for God’s commandments.

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