February 6, 2009

Faithful Lines / Shirley Vogler Meister

Love in our lives can be a many splendored thing

Shirley Vogler MeisterValentine’s Day is next week.

Perhaps well ahead of time or at the last minute, we will be earnestly thinking about the right gift or deed to let our loved ones know how much they mean to us.

Others, however, might forget or bypass Valentine’s Day with the same lackadaisical approach taken during other special times.

Valentine’s Day is named after one or more clerics, according to the section on saints at www.catholic.org. He/they are considered the patron(s) of love, young people, happy marriages, engaged couples, bee keepers, travelers, those with epilepsy or prone to fainting, greetings, and, of all things, plague. St. Valentine is portrayed in pictures with birds and roses.

Sometimes this special day often slides by without much fanfare for my husband, Paul, and me. Many others I know say the same thing. If so, then I try to make a point to remember and celebrate especially loving memories in my life, whether on Valentine’s Day or not.

Recently, I was fortunate to learn about a blog maintained by a young Catholic woman who lives with her husband, Troy, and their five young children in Fargo, N.D. (yes, the area reported to be the coldest and snowiest this winter).

Every time I read what Roxane Salonen shares, I tend to reminisce about the often too busy but wonderful days of my own earlier motherhood—times that I’ll never forget.

As I read Roxane’s daily blog, I sometimes think of a song from an old movie I remember from high school years: “Love is a Many Splendored Thing.”

In fact, recently I finally viewed the film on Turner Classic Movies. (In my teen years, this movie was considered improper. By today’s standards, it is innocent.)

Reading Roxane’s blog at www.roxanesalonen.blogspot.com reminds me that love is, indeed, a many faceted and many splendored blessing. She also reminds me that it is easy to take love—even God’s love for us—for granted.

Roxane’s observations on life remind me to cherish the positive as well as the negative memories since often the sadness and the trials and tribulations are what hone our love.

Things that go wrong can actually be growth experiences, especially when we react to them with the love that our Catholic faith teaches us.

She also reminds me that lightheartedness and laughter can overcome the little traumas in our lives, and bring a suitable balance to the more serious problems that come along.

Let’s celebrate St. Valentine’s Day with gratitude and love, remembering what is truly important in our lives and striving to help make better the lives of those we love.

After all, “Love makes the world go round,” the title of a Broadway song from my youth!

(Shirley Vogler Meister, a member of Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.)

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