Saturday, February 16, 2008
After calling for a Luminous Novena earlier this year, to pray for EVERYONE you can think of - what could be more natural than this, verily?
Twelve Days Of Love!
But can this be accomplished; that is the question...
Why until the 24th, you ask? Some of you may not know - those who are not Romanian or even European stand a good chance of not having the slightest idea indeed - but there is an alternate St. Valentine's Day on the 24th of the very same month. That in itself was very smart indeed; for you can readily buy, at a discount price, all the heart-shaped candy you can find left over from the "official" commercialized celebration of love, a mere ten days later... Of course, those of you who remember my past posts about the "official" one, or those who peeked at the luminous archives here, will guess that I am not any more thrilled with the 24th than I am with the 14th! And here is, once again, why (summed up for everyone's euphoric pleasure!)
Saint Valentine is a mere prête-nom in all this: he is not the focus at all and has little to do with the emblematic poster child for the lovefest, which remains the very pagan Cupid. Some may even be confused enough to think that this tiny arrow-shooting faux cherubim is "St. Valentine" - such an error is totally plausible among some of the most uncultured youths of the day and on par with thinking "Santa Claus" is the origin of Christmas... Cupid is also known as Eros and "it" could have many more identities to boot - its usurping the spot reserved to a saint/martyr who knew the TRUE MEANING OF LOVE is even more revolting than "Santa" stripping Christmas of its own true meaning (merely because we can always recuperate from that come EASTER time - and no matter what they say, Eostre and the Easter Bunny are not as formidable a pair of "distracting/decoy" foes as Santa by his lonesome super-sized self really is! But that certainly is another story, once again...)
On St-Valentine's Day, it is truly the legacy of a romantic author (Chaucer) that we are asked to celebrate. That and, quite possibly, the vestiges of yet another pagan feast time has forgotten! It doesn't help matters at all that "Saint-Valentine" as he is known to the masses is an amalgam of up to seven different saints or martyrs! And the one who might have been as romantic as legend has him out to be is a virtual unknown about whom nothing is readily documented. The last two Valentines recognized as martyrs of equal stature are too recent (19th and 20th Centuries) to have been "the one" people want him to be (for more on the amalgamation process, check out the summary given here - wikipedia; always sufficient!)
St. Valentine's Day actually has a sequel all its own already (it didn't need a remake, no!) in the "kiss feast" (e.g. La Fête Du Baiser) which is set to be honored on the first Saturday following February 14th... (You will excuse me if I mention here that all it reminds me of is that lamentable funny film about "Saturday The 14th" - an attempt to lampoon the Friday The 13th series of slashers without any hockey masks or real laughs either! Richard Benjamin (a lethal name combination, in retrospect - à bons entendeurs, salut!) did well to give up acting after this one - and so did his beloved Paula Prentiss, I do believe. The catch phrase was "it gets pretty bad on Friday the 13th, but things get REALLY bad on Saturday the 14th!" or something to that effect. No kidding; the Jason movie series was Oscar-worthy in comparison! But I am digressing once more...)
However, lo, there has come another Valentine, arisen in the same land Dracula's legend sprang from, that prolongs the lovefest even further... (Ironic because the aforementioned Richard Benjamin was only ever convincing as a comical foil in the Dracula funny "Love At First Bite" in my opinion!) And, fittingly enough, the alternate Valentine's name is phonetically similar to Dracula's too: it is Dragobete! The latter love beast has steadily gained in popularity in the last few years and holds as solidly anchored in legend roots as Cupid and Eros or Valentine's martyrdom itself (all seven Valentines, really) so that makes Dragobete as valid, historically and folklorically, a so-called "holiday" for today! The feast day is a plausible alternative to St. Valentine's Day, hence. It has even an air of spring break-ishness, Eostre's time of the year and I'll throw in the groundhog's predictive powers for good measure too! All under the actually prefered name of "Dragobete" indeed. (This is getting to be less and less subtle, I tell you...)
As illustrated here, Dragobete is a romantic hero true-and-true; probably closer to a Romeo or any gallant chivalrous character from the Middle-Ages that you can think of than any one of the Valentines retained by the Church for their martyrdom skills... It is up to you, of course, to decide which is more important and does a soul more good: romance and gallantry or martyrdom and saintliness!
Now, having said all this, do not make the mistake of thinking me to be anything less than a romantic! I am a romantic to the point of being an idealist - that is romanesque to the utmost degree, I do believe... Aye, I strongly adhere to these time-honored convictions: that all that is basically good and honorable will prevail in the end. That LOVE is the strongest force in the universe. That nothing corrupt or evil can ever triumph over the most noble intentions. That one's "tender half" is like a part of oneself - and that, together in "couplehood" or whatever you wish to call it, a man and a woman are truly ONE. I also believe that time-honored customs, that some call old-fashioned and out of fashion, outright, are in fact timeless and should have never fallen out of favor with either the elite or any other strata of society, verily! Those things I hint at include simple gestures not seen anymore, such as curtsey, the bow and the all-gallant handkiss. I could go on - but this was supposed to be only a summary...!
And so, having cited all these things, I must come to the conclusion that follows: all of these things, though they help greatly in furthering the distinction between us and mere animals (that Charles and his Darwinists have, ever since his day, likened us to) and add flavor to boring societal conventions, all these things are but frivolities. On the same level as standards and practices of the day. And none of these things can begin to compare to the demonstration of TRUE LOVE - all-encompassing love, all-unconditional love, all-enrapturing LOVE.
For a taste of THAT KIND OF LOVE - go here instead.
Oh, and to answer my own question - can we have 12 days of Love like this?
Not in this world - not love like this, no.
But we can have 12 days of frivolities.
We can even muster 12 days of "couplehood" - surely.
Some couples still manage to last years, even nowadays, is it not the case!
But those couples that LAST - they have another LOVE Source at the core of their love: you've guessed it, this one.
May the love vibes reverberate throughout the year -
not Valentine's, not Dragobete's - certainly not Cupid's or Eros'...
The Love Vibes from The Source - YES!
I got to finish this piece while listening to a trio of great tunes that fit the bill so perfectly, you wouldn't believe...!
Well, you probably will when I divulge which tunes they were...!
Foreigner's hits "I Wanna Know What Love Is," followed by "Starrider" (Show Me Where You Are - Take Me To The Stars) and "I've Been Waiting For A Girl Like You"...!
Those three tunes cover it all, pretty much, right there!
I couldn't have selected a better soundtrack even if I had tried to!
But the fact that I was listening to music on my iTunes player to begin with (since I have been pissed off at Deezer.com and the like - don't ask!) precluded that I whip up any ready-to-listen soundtrack playlist to post here, along with said piece...!
Maybe next time, eh?
Waiting (...) has such a great ethereal opening...
Oh, and on my iTunes, it is followed by Urgent...
And I've also got some Fleetwood Mac: the lesser-known Songbird most notably...!
All fitting here...!
Just noticed the following in my inbox - I am sure the sender won't mind me sharing...
Daily Devotional - Love for God
Streaming Faith Daily Devotionals to me
Feb 17 (2 days ago)
Sunday, February 17, 2008 • Print Article
Love for God
Dr. Betty R. Price
Love is an action word that is demonstrated by the way we live everyday of every week of every year. If we claim to love Jesus and the Heavenly Father then we should be demonstrating our love in accordance with His Word. I want to share with you from the Word of God how we can show our love in a way that is pleasing and acceptable to God and man.
A few years back, a couple of young women in our congregation got pregnant out of wedlock. One Sunday, my husband felt led to speak on the subject of fornication and its consequences. Later, one of the young ladies' mothers called me and said that her daughter had come to church that Sunday and the pastor had talked about her publicly. She said that her daughter had gotten her feelings hurt and she was not going to return to the church.
Ironically, Fred [Price], my husband and pastor of the church, did not know anything about the young lady. In fact, he did not even know she was in the audience. But the girl was chastened by the teaching. This is how the Lord deals with us. He chastens us through the ministry gifts He has set in the Church, or through the Word.
It will be so wonderful when the Body of Christ gets itself together and on one accord by living and doing right. I believe that there is nothing on earth that God will not do for us when that happens.
Sponsor AdEphesians 4:22-24 states:
22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
As we diligently put on this new man-our Christian lifestyle-we become holy. As we take off the old man-our former conduct, the way we used to be-and walk according to the Word, we become like Jesus. The thing is you have to stay with it constantly. You cannot give up or get tired.
First Peter 1:13-16 tells us:
13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;
15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
This is a commandment from God. And God would not tell us to do something we could not do, or be something we could not be. All through the Bible God is telling us how to live, because He knows the challenges we face in this life. If we keep hearing and studying the Word and then determine to be doers of that Word, then we will come to the point where we will live that holy lifestyle without even thinking about it.
Just think-Jesus gave His life so that we can walk in the fullness of God. We do not have the words in our vocabulary to adequately describe all that Jesus did when He died on the cross for us. Then He went into hell and served the penalty that had to be paid for our sins and our disobedience. When you think about God's love and the sacrifice He made by sending His Son to redeem us, and the price Jesus paid to make that redemption a reality, that should make us all want to do right and live holy.
Jesus said in John 14:21:
21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."
Notice it says "keeps." That's how you can tell if you love Jesus-if you are being a doer (keeper) of the Word, and not just a hearer only. And then Jesus says that if we love Him, we would be loved by the Father. If you want the Father to manifest Himself to you, then keep His Word.
This excerpt was taken from Dr. Betty's book, "Lifestyles of the Rich & Faithful." To obtain a complete listing of her products, please call (800) 927-3436 or visit www.faithdome.org
Dr. Betty R. Price plays a vital role in her husband Dr. Frederick K.C. Price's ministry, as well as in the operation of the Crenshaw Christian Center as well as the Fellowship of Inner-City Word of Faith Ministries. She and Dr. Fred Price travel extensively all over the world, ministering the uncompromising Word of God. Dr. Betty also shares her personal testimony, along with the Word, with women's groups and organizations. Her love and concern for others have led to the establishment of numerous programs and groups.
© Dr. Betty R. Price
all rights reserved.
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