This Valentine’s Day – Stop and relish the “long and loving gaze” of the One who so loves you and finds you so precious!
In the year 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to a three-part execution of a beating, stoning, and finally decapitation. The story goes that the last words he wrote were in a note to Asterius’ daughter for whom he had cured of blindness. He inspired today’s romantic missives by signing it, “from your Valentine.”
In Italy, Saint Valentine’s keys are given to lovers “as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart.”
The Contemplation on Divine Love is a kind of capstone of Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises. The aim of the meditation is to be aware of the gracious and abundant love of God and to respond in love, generosity, and freedom. We give what we have, not out of obligation, but out of immense love for the other.
The famous Suscipe prayer is a key that unlocks our heart and Gods in mutual giving to one another –
Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding, my whole will, all that I am, and all that I possess…
Taking time and making effort on Valentine’s Day to remind the special someone that we love of how cherished they are, is a worthy tradition.
Might we not pray and write a paragraph in our journal expressing our intimate love to God and then listening for God’s words to us in return?
Stop and relish the “long and loving gaze” of the One who so loves you and finds you so precious!
With thanks to Peter Shakhovskoy for this contribution to the JISA website. Peter is a member of the JISA Faber team in Brisbane. He has pursued a keen interest in Ignatian Spirituality and Spiritual direction for more than 17 years. He is an experienced Spiritual Director and giver of the Spiritual Exercises and in 2015 completed the 6-week Immersion in Manresa Spain.