St Valentine💖

I though it might be interesting to look at one of the stories surrounding St. Valentine. He has been retained as a Saint by the Catholic church and there are many versions of his life. This is one of them.

St. Valentine, the Real Story

Flowers, candy, red hearts and romance. That’s what Valentine’s day is all about, right? Well, maybe not.

The origin of this holiday for the expression of love really isn’t romantic at all—at least not in the traditional sense. Father Frank O’Gara of Whitefriars Street Church in Dublin, Ireland, tells the real story of the man behind the holiday—St. Valentine.

“He was a Roman Priest at a time when there was an emperor called Claudias who persecuted the church at that particular time,” Father O’Gara explains. ” He also had an edict that prohibited the marriage of young people. This was based on the hypothesis that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers because married soldiers might be afraid of what might happen to them or their wives or families if they died.”

“I think we must bear in mind that it was a very permissive society in which Valentine lived,” says Father O’Gara. “Polygamy would have been much more popular than just one woman and one man living together. And yet some of them seemed to be attracted to Christian faith. But obviously the church thought that marriage was very sacred between one man and one woman for their life and that it was to be encouraged. And so it immediately presented the problem to the Christian church of what to do about this.”

“The idea of encouraging them to marry within the Christian church was what Valentine was about. And he secretly married them because of the edict.”

Valentine was eventually caught, imprisoned and tortured for performing marriage ceremonies against command of Emperor Claudius the second. There are legends surrounding Valentine’s actions while in prison.

“One of the men who was to judge him in line with the Roman law at the time was a man called Asterius, whose daughter was blind. He was supposed to have prayed with and healed the young girl with such astonishing effect that Asterius himself became Christian as a result.”

In the year 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution of a beating, stoning, and finally decapitation all because of his stand for Christian marriage. The story goes that the last words he wrote were in a note to Asterius’ daughter. He inspired today’s romantic missives by signing it, “from your Valentine.”

“What Valentine means to me as a priest,” explains Father O’Gara, “is that there comes a time where you have to lay your life upon the line for what you believe. And with the power of the Holy Spirit we can do that —even to the point of death.”

Valentine’s martyrdom has not gone unnoticed by the general public. In fact, Whitefriars Street Church is one of three churches that claim to house the remains of Valentine. Today, many people make the pilgrimage to the church to honor the courage and memory of this Christian saint.

Written by David Kithcart of CBN

What ifs

what ifs

It is so easy to fall into thinking that we can control outcomes in life. When things don’t work the way we want we start with the “What ifs.” If I had only finished something at work faster, if I had only been nicer, if I had turned left instead of right. Depending on the situation we can blame ourselves for what happened. We can also blame someone or something else. One way leaves us feeling guilty and the other way exonerates us but leaves us angry and wanting to lay blame on someone.

responsibleThere is also the problem of responsibility. Some families have solved their children’s mistakes so many times that the child has no sense of responsibility for their actions. They have not suffered any consequences. Unfortunately, we need to be held accountable early on in life or when something happens that can’t be fixed then the result can be devastating.

 

Life is unpredictable. When we are truly at fault we need to take responsibility but we can’t take on guilt for the vagaries of the world. Knowing the difference between these two is a critical life skill.

When situations arise take a hard look and sift through what happened. Learn to use some perspective and don’t take on things that are uncontrollable. Don’t lose yourself in the “what ifs.”

Dogs are a joy

There is no question that I love dogs. My two bassets give me great pleasure. We never intended to have dogs this big. We have always had standard dachshunds. My son just showed up with the first one at the door. A friend of his had to let the dog go and he knew that we were suckers. We kept her (Tillie) and when the dachshunds crossed the rainbow bridge we got a rescue as a friend for her. The two of them are now a bonded pair.

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Tails hanging down as they monitor the yard

They brighten my day by their antics. Bassets are stubborn by nature and when called to come will do so….at their own pace which resembles a snail. Alternately if they don’t want to come at all will go behind a bush with the hope that you won’t see them at all. Strangely enough if I say “I see you” they come out.

Crash, so named by foster family as he was hit by a car) will bark at the door. Thinking that he wants to go out (they have a dog door in the back) one of us will get up and open the door to discover that he doesn’t want to go out. He wants us to let Tillie in.

When we are gone excitement ensues. Towels are pulled from racks. Laundry is removed from the basket in the laundry room and all couch pillows are pushed to the floor. None of these things are damaged…just rearranged.

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At 5:00 PM play time arrives and they chase each other around the house, in and out the dog door and around the yard. Barking commences and when Crash catches up to Tillie she lets out an ear curdling screech. The sound penetrates every room in the house. We need ear protection.

Without them things would be boring.

For them and us Life is good.

Frail humans

Today I hauled some of things I have cleaned out to the car. It was mostly art supplies that I will give to a local place that offers art opportunities for children. it is so nice to be able to help with things that have stood useless in my closet.

unfinished-business-in-the-form-of-projects-that-might-robert-updegraff-103-50-72While cleaning I also found knitting projects that I haven’t finished. I now have them in order and I will begin finishing  them. It is sad for me to realize that I have done that. It makes me wonder how many unfinished things I have left in my life. Not projects like knitting but relationships or important people. Are there those out there that I hurt in some way by not following up with them?

I hope that I have not left too much undone. At the moment I don’t remember anyone but life can take strange twists and turns. I send my plea for forgiveness out to the cosmos. I am sure that I also have been left undone by some but my forgiveness is sent out also. We can’t go through life without encountering others and sometimes mistakes are made.  Knowing that we are all frail humans and not perfect can bring peace.

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Thank you

Yesterday I wrote a post that was thought provoking. I knew it wouldn’t be some people’s cup of tea. That, in fact, was the case. Sometimes when we write we don’t think about how others interpret our words. The thing that I love about word press is that the resulting comments were so kind and clearly looked for my meaning. That is so appreciated.

Thank you card

This forum has brought nothing but kindly worded comments even if there were differences about what was posted. This is a great blessing. I know that putting my thoughts to paper do not always speak clearly what I mean. This does happen. It is so nice to know that we can communicate with kindness AND honesty. There are so many places that sharing thoughts does not get that kind of response.

I want to say how happy I am to communicate in a place that allows us to share, agree, disagree, and still keep the conversation going. This also gives us the chance to maybe give a clearer meaning to our words.

Thank you Word Press community.

My friend

I don’t know how many of you have good friends but I sure hope you do. A good friend, a lifetime friend is a treasure beyond compare. Most of us are blessed if there is one such person in our lives. Some people in our lives are friends and they may be kind a caring but they are still not the one who would back you up if the whole world was against you.

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I have been thinking about this because three years ago in January I lost one of those friends. We knew the good and bad about each other and it didn’t matter. We didn’t live close for quite a while but on the phone it was as if we had seen each other the day before. Nothing ever changed the link we had with each other.

During her illness I was blessed to live close enough to help her and was with her when she faced her death. She was the kind of person who drew people to her and many mourned her passing. She, like me, was not perfect but she was my friend.

Following are some excerpts from Proverbs that have to do with a wife but they apply to her friendship with me also.

Proverbs 30

A good wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.

 20 She opens her hands to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy.

25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

29 “Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”

RIP Deirdre

 

The bed

When my son was engaged he asked my husband ( a gifted carpenter) to make a bed for them. He made a beautiful four poster bed. I wrote the following poem about it.

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The Bed

 

Its posts are silky

as the sanding is done

each coat of finish

a step of love

 

as loving as the lives

who will rest and love

in its grasp

 

the work of finishing

will be done

but the love nurtured in its depths

never complete