Saturday, February 14, 2015

St, Valentine - Help Me Be Less of a Jerk

I take a backseat to no man, when it comes to being selfish, whiny and most of all a bearer of grudges.

I like to think that i bear no one grudges, but it ain't so.  I like to think that I am something of Stoic, nah. My liberal generosities?  Need work. Lots of work.

Where to begin?  Take a look at this paragraph from the biography of St. Valentine from Catholic On-line:

Saints are not supposed to rest in peace; they're expected to keep busy: to perform miracles, to intercede. Being in jail or dead is no excuse for non-performance of the supernatural. One legend says, while awaiting his execution, Valentinus restored the sight of his jailer's blind daughter. Another legend says, on the eve of his death, he penned a farewell note to the jailer's daughter, signing it, "From your Valentine."

He was a real flesh and blood human being during the reign of Emperor Claudius the Goth ( Claudius II - not the Julio-Claudian step daddy of Nero).  Valentine was a priest who continued to marry Christian couples though the Emperor had banned all Christian worship and ministrations of sacraments by priests.  Claudius was one of long-line of warrior emperors in the 3rd Century AD.  He spent most of his time with his legions fighting Germans and Goths.  Whether he ever met Valentine is a matter of some dispute.  However, Claudius Gothicus was an old-timey Roman pagan with no tolerance for Christians.

Valentine refused to go-along to get along. He was imprisoned and legend has it that he even tried to convert the Emperor while in the joint - bold, but fatal.  He was beaten, stoned and beheaded.

Valentine was not selfish,or  whiny, and bore no grudge.  He is the Patron Saint of lovers and his feast, like everything that's rooted in faith -All Hallows Eve, Christmas, Easter ad etc.- was co opted by secularists and largely forgotten as a flesh and blood hero.

I pray today that St. Valentine helps me be less of a selfish jerk.

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