For Love of God

News: Commentary
by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  February 14, 2019   

St. Valentine's true love is forgotten

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The true love of God that moved St. Valentine to marry Christians in the third century even at the cost of his life is now being replaced with romantic inclinations.

Saint Valentine was a priest from the third century, who, according to some legends, secretly conducted marriages of Christians who were banned from marrying by the Roman emperor, Claudius II. This cost St. Valentine his life. Christ describes this as true love.

In John 15:13, Our Lord says, "Greater love than this no man has, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

Authentic love, what Catholics call charity, is a divinely infused virtue that enables those who obey God's commands to love unselfishly. Divine love is God loving with the person's heart and allows the person to love God in return. A person can have lustful impulses, romantic inclinations or natural friendships without God's involvement. To love supernaturally and unselfishly, however, requires God's gift of charity, which is lost with mortal sin.

The secular world knows little and cares less about this type of love. In their push to sell candy, flowers and St. Valentine's Day cards, the real St. Valentine and the love that moved him to act are obfuscated by mere romantic inclinations at best and by an immoral portrayal of love based on lust.

Watch the panel discuss how romance replaces St. Valentine's true charity in The Download—For Love of God.

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