A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

What Love Looks Like

Posted on: February 6, 2014


A Valentine’s Day decoration I made for my husband a few years ago

With Valentine’s Day squarely in the middle of the month, it seems February is the time to celebrate love. But what does that look like?

Does it mean showering loved ones with sweet treats, sentimental cards and extra affection? Sure. Who doesn’t appreciate—well, being appreciated? Especially if the sweet treats and cards are homemade with love, and we write something inside the cards rather than just sign them.

It could also mean carving out special time just to be with our spouse, even with no plans to go out. (I recommend Sheila Wray Gregoire’s post “Make Valentine’s Day Celebrate Your Marriage Day!”) Or even tackling a chore on our spouse’s honey-do list. (If that seems strange, I recommend reading Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages.)

But here’s some further food for thought from St. Augustine of Hippo, as quoted in the January/February issue of Catholic Digest:

What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.

And so here are a few other ways to show what love looks like this month:

  • Volunteer to walk dogs at the Ottawa Humane Society or provide a forever home for a new furry friend at this or another area shelter.
  • Bring some valentines to veterans in long-term care centres, seniors in retirement residences, or children in the hospital.
  • Call, e-mail or visit a friend or neighbour who will be going through the first Valentine’s Day after the death of a spouse.
  • Start your spring cleaning early—look for gently used spring clothing and household items to donate to charity.

I pray that God would open our eyes to see where the needs are in our community and beyond and that he would open our hearts to respond in love.

Perfection of life is the perfection of love. For love is the life of the soul.

~ St. Francis de Sales, quoted in “Celebrate February 2014,” Catholic Digest, January/February 2014


Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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