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church:vicars_letters:march2009

What is love?

(By Rev’d Peter Knott) Now that Valentines Day is safely behind us for another year, here are the thoughts of Peter Knott on the subject of “Love”:

Thomas Aquinas, the great medieval philosopher, wrote that 'the poverty of our language forces us to overload the word “love”.' That's certainly true of our modern culture, but I think Aquinas would have seen something of truth and meaning in Valentine's Day, because it's not about loving possessions or objects.

It's a celebration of that most fundamental human desire - to love and be loved. All those red roses and hearts and anonymous cards express that desire, and that's why today is about the true meaning of love, for all its follies and frivolities.

But Aquinas would also have cautioned that our desire for love can't be fully satisfied by any other human being. It's God's call to us from beyond the horizon of death and, like those Valentine cards, it sometimes comes to us from an anonymous sender, as a tantalizing mystery.

To be human is to be created by and for love, but to look to another human for the perfection of love is to condemn ourselves to a lifetime of failure and frustration. Only when we understand the eternal nature of love itself, are we able to love abundantly and generously in the here and now.

So let's enjoy the exuberance of those hearts and flowers, and celebrate the desire for love which they represent. But let's also recognize that they are garlands on the face of eternity. In the light of eternal love, we learn to give and receive the kind of love which makes us human, and satisfies our heart's desire.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” Today, Lord, may we enjoy the celebration of love, and discover anew the enduring power of love that never fails. Amen.

Personal Opinion

I watched with interest the interest and anger in the news, when the Pope re-instated an English Bishop who had publicly stated that the Holocaust in Nazi Germany had not happened. Personally, I think that anyone who believes as this Bishop does needs our sympathy not our anger. (The Vicar)

Mothers Union

The Mothers Union's Annual Lecture will be taking the form of a Presentation by Reg Bailey, the Chief Executive of the Worldwide MU, who is coming to the Diocese and will be at Mark Village Hall on Wednesday June 10th. This will include time for you to ask all those questions you have about work of the MU. This occasion will be from 11.30am to 3.pm which includes Lunch provided by the Mothers Union. (poc Barbara Stratton, Diocesan President, Bath & Wells Mothers Union)

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