Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Blessed Saint Valentine's Day! 1/3

Busy busy day, almost didn't get a Saint Valentine's day post up!

Rather than a long rant about commercialization ($14 billion last year) and sexualization of this old-calendar feast day, I'll merely note that it was Saint Valentine's support of the the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony for which he was martyred in 273 AD by the Emperor Claudius. So it might be a good time to renew your support for that Sacrament (lots of ways to do that).

In the pagan mind--broadly construed as the non-Christian mind, which is alive and well today--Marriage is put in the service of love. It's a tool that people use to express their love or, at best, a piece of art to honor their love. With love having fallen in status as something in the service of sex--for men anyway: men use love to get sex and women use sex to get love--as I say with love now conceived as being in the service of sex, it follows that marriage is now in the service of sex: marriage is for love is for sex.

Contrariwise, the Church teaches us that rightly ordered sex is in the service of the Christian Marriage characterized by self-less love imaging the love of our Grace-giving Father , and, ultimately, images the Holy Trinity when the this love becomes an actual new person in the completed Christian family. On a personal note, I lived this out today as we celebrated our Saint Valentine's day with a family ski through the woods around where we live.

It would be a great sign of renewal if we started reconnecting Saint Valentine with marriage rather than mere sex (which in the end is a poor substitute).

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