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love my soul

With the passing of Valentine's Day, I must write about love! The American commercialization of this holiday annoys me. You are obligated to buy gifts and go out for a fancy dinner. How about I just give my husband some extra hugs and spend quality time with him? These are my love languages and the ways I express my love to him. I'll tackle the subject in more spiritual approach, however.

What is love? Where is it coming from? Can you learn it?

Love is one of these things that's very difficult to define yet seek and yearn for it. You must experience love in order to understand it.

Since God is love, that's the source of it. There are plenty references to this in the Bible. Jesus is not only asking us to love one another but He's also points to love being the most important of His commandments.

My first experience of being loved by God was with my first praying group that I was part of. We went for a retreat, where I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. It was the first tangible feeling of God's love that I received, and I haven't stopped receiving it.

How do you check if you love well? You read the Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 13.

Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing but finds its joy in the truth. It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes. Love never comes to an end. 
As it is, these remain faith, hope and love, the three of them; and the greatest of them is love.

I was encouraged while listening a homily at St. Lawrence church in Utica, to make this. Let's call it an art project!

How do you learn love? Like with everything else, you practice:

  • As a child. At first, probably more or less unconsciously. It's a two-way relationship, you learn from your parents how to love, and you're being loved by them. Then loving them back is how you learn on your own. You're also God's son or daughter and He has His ways of teaching you.

  • As a spouse. I have been taught that love is a decision. You comit yourself to love someone like the wedding vow says till the end of your days, no matter what happens. Love is not a feeling as they fade away after time. I must say though I did feel a new wave of love when walking down the aisle with my husband since few minutes, after my sacrament of marriage.

  • As a parent. Becoming a parent is a good school. You get above tired, angry, helpless at times... yet you love them more and more! I once heard a nice definition of love. If you want to see love watch how mothers look at their children, because motherly love is described as the purest. So here is my mommy!

Love languages are expressions of your love towards others. This means, in order for my husband to feel loved, I should use his love languages not mine!

There're five love languages:

  1. Words of Affirmation.

  2. Acts of Service.

  3. Gifts.

  4. Quality Time.

  5. Physical Touch.

Learn what your love languages are and the love languages of the ones around you so that the love may increase!

I'd also like to learn about the saints as they master the lives by being holy. St. Valentine's history isn't well documented and as it was a very popular name back then it's more than just one saint. The legends say that he left a message signed "Your Valentine" to a woman that he healed. Also, he was giving parchment hearts to the newly married grooms to remind them about God's and their wives love. I suppose that's where our Valentine's Day customs come from...

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