Archive for Valentine’s Day

The Story of St. Valentine

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 14, 2015 by peace4diane

There are many versions of the story of St. Valentine. Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I decided earlier today to share the one that touched my heart several years ago. Enjoy it, talk about it, then pass it on!
In 270 A.D., marriage  was outlawed by the emperor of Rome, Claudius II. Claudius issued this decree because he thought that married men made bad soldiers since they were reluctant to be torn away from their families in the case of war. Claudius had also outlawed Christianity in this time period because he wished to be praised as the one supreme god, the Emperor of Rome.

Valentine was the bishop of Interamna during this period of oppression. Valentine thought that the decrees of Rome were wrong. He believed that people should be free to love God and to marry. Valentine invited the young couples of the area to come to him. When they came, Valentine secretly performed services of matrimony and united the couples.

Valentine was eventually caught and brought before the emperor. The emperor saw that Valentine had conviction and drive that was unsurpassed among his men. Claudius tried and tried to persuade Valentine to leave Christianity, serve the Roman Empire and the Roman gods. In exchange, Claudius would pardon him and make him one of his allies. St. Valentine held to his faith and did not renounce Christ. Because of this, the emperor sentenced him to a three-part execution. First, Valentine would be beaten, then stoned, and then finally, decapitated. Valentine died on February 14th, 270 A.D.

While in prison, waiting for his sentence to be carried out, Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter, the blind Asterius. During the course of Valentine’s prison stay, a miracle occurred and Asterius regained her sight. Valentine sent her a final farewell note. He signed his last note, “From Your Valentine.” Even today, this message remains as the motto for our Valentine’s Day celebrations.

St. Valentine the priest was named the patron saint of lovers by the Catholic Church 200 years after his death as an attempt to quell the celebration of the pagan Lupercalia festival that took place in the middle of February.

Bending The Universe

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 12, 2013 by peace4diane
labrador

labrador (Photo credit: !alberto)

Bending The Universe

I find I live this ridiculous double life: in public I appear to be strong and cheerful though flawed—full of advice and kind words—i.e., a good person. The illusion I have created is that I am someone who, if you didn’t know already you’d try to get to know them. Although a little air-headed, very intelligent and passionate. Not passionate so much as in a sexual sense (although there is that side of me), but passionate in a political one: I will fight and believe in your cause and your right to have what you fight for. It is the irrepressible Aquarian in me. And then there is the definitely sensuous side of me. . .also very, very Aquarian.

For example, my birthday, as followers and subscribers who are patient enough with me will recall from lamentations of bygone days, falls ridiculously on St. Valentine’s Day! Because of this, I appear to the world as strong, true, focused, generous, self-disciplined; friendly and killing myself while trying, like an overly zealous Labrador puppy, to please everyone around me. I believe it is a by-product of being born on the national day of love.

This last thought provides the necessarily awkward segue to the central conflict: a human being should not try to be a Labrador puppy. On the inside, behind closed doors, I cry and cry, talking for hours to myself about myself. I call it praying, but if no one is listening, then who cares what it is; other than the gibberish of an old black woman filled with regret. I talk big game about the tragedy of living a life of regret—the unlived life, but in reality, that’s exactly what has happened; and I experience true sadness behind that door to my spirit’s house.

On my way to yet another doctor appointment, where I once again review with complete strangers my medical history—every flaw and imperfection listed first in alphabetical order (it’s easier to remember) then chronological order (which tells its own story), I began to cry. . .again. When this happens, especially when I’m in traffic I call it wide-eyed prayer, and because my eyes are open, I don’t hold much hope that the act is to be considered “prayer” at all—more likely to be regarded as a high-speed tantrum.

As for my spiritual journal, today God wants me to know exactly that: I am on a journey. I may seem to be standing still, but I must believe that things are working in my favor and just like a Steve Young–Jerry Rice pass/reception combo, it will catch up with me—else I go insane.

 

TAGS: double_life, paradox, paradoxical, Labrador_puppy, crying, sadness, ridiculousness, prayer, journey