By Rebecca Richmond, NCLN Executive Director
(This post originally appeared in our weekly email for pro-life campus leaders: Campus Connections. If you are a student and interested in joining our weekly email list, please contact your local NCLN staff member to be added!)
All I wanted was a coffee, but apparently the inundation of pink, red, flowers, hearts, and bare-bummed cupids was complimentary. As if I could have missed the frenzied advertising leading up to today!
And while retailers celebrate record chocolate sales, we can take the opportunity to think about love. As pro-lifers, love is, after all, at the core of who we are and what we do. True love, that is, and not merely mushy, gushy, chocolate-filled, candy-coated sentiments. Chocolates and candy hearts are nice and spending time with those we love is good, but we can best remember the self-sacrificing life of the day’s namesake by putting our heart into helping others each and every day.
Not much is known for certain about St. Valentine. He was martyred for refusing to recant his beliefs and for assisting his Christian brethren during the persecution of the Church under the Emperor Claudius II in 269 A.D. Yet this knowledge alone is enough, for it speaks of the true nature of love.
Love wants the highest good for the other person. As such, love is not self-serving, but is oriented towards the other. It is more than a onetime proclamation or commitment, but rather is revealed in our daily actions as we serve others.
Consider a mom with her baby. Loving her baby doesn’t mean making a proclamation every now and again. Loving her baby involves the everyday duties: feeding (even at obscene hours of the morning), cleaning, rocking, and playing. It means sleepless nights and dirty diapers.
Similarly, our love of preborn children and the women and men facing unplanned pregnancies cannot be a simple avowal. Our love must manifest itself in the everyday things we do and say: speaking up for Life in class, doing the necessary tasks to host an abortion debate, staying strong even amid persecution from the student union, or having a conversation with a friend or family member.
Growing up, my parents often told me that love was a choice and not simply a feeling (this lesson probably saved my little brother from getting whacked over the head many a time…. It also probably saved me from his revenge when he surpassed me in height and strength).
So today, amid the swirl of chocolate-filled and candy-coated feelings, let us make choices. Let us choose Life each and every day. Let us love.