Valentine’s Day usually brings a month of pink hearts, delicious chocolates, and soft teddy bears. It’s a day to celebrate love. But if you saw the New York Life commercial during the Superbowl or you’ve done some exploration on the topic of love, you know there are few types of love.
I’d argue that for most of us, Valentines day is a celebration of eros – that joy-filled, giddy, excitement love. It’s the love we share with that “someone special” and that makes us want to be physically closer to that person. Eros is beautiful and ought to be celebrated!
But, when I say “Love is who we are and what we do,” I am referring to agape love. Agape is, as the commercial says, love in action. It’s the sacrificial, self-giving love. It’s the overwhelming urge inside of us that enables us to do something for others even if it’s hard. It’s the emotion, willpower and action of Jesus as he stayed on the cross and shed his precious blood for our sins. Surely, he could have avoided pain. Surely, he could have removed himself from the cross. But he stayed. And he shed his blood. That is agape.
It is this agape that we Sisters of the Precious Blood proclaim and live. All of our ministries and our lives are lived for others – that others may know the joy, freedom and redemption in Jesus. We recognize that this love does not originate within us, however. It’s the love of God, so overwhelming that it fills us to the brim and overflows outward. We use the surplus of love to spread agape to others, especially those who may not feel love.
Our Sisters strive to pour out their lives daily for others as Jesus’ precious blood is poured out daily on the altar. It is this Eucharistic, agape love that overflows in us and enables us to love others. It’s the Eucharistic love that motivates us to work with children in impoverished areas, help immigrants find legal aid, and provide housing and live with young Guatemalan women. It’s the overflowing agape love from God that enables our Sisters to cradle someone shot in gang violence, or provide hope for an inmate wanting a second chance.
Regardless of how and which type of love you celebrate this weekend, know that it is with this agape love that we say to you, “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
– Blog entry by Jenna Legg