Valentine's Day is the 14th. It's a day of candy, cards, and cuddles (if you're lucky or in love; or both). Chocolate seems to be the favorite flavor for this day of exchanging more than pleasantries. Hershey's Kisses and Whitman's Samplers sell well enough to make most lists of desirable treats. And let's not forget the flowers. Roses upon roses upon roses. And still, more roses. It was Gertrude Stein who said in the 1913 poem Sacred Emily "A rose is a rose is a rose." The meaning of which no one can fully agree, so enigmatic is the phrase. Perhaps better known is William Shakespeare's line from Juliet's mouth in Romeo and Juliet, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Truer words were never spoken. The sweet smell of roses is full of romance and hope and longing. Whether given as a gift for no special reason or when they lie in a spray on a coffin, love is in the smell, and thus, in the air for all to relish. For the faithful Christian (and even for the not so faithful one) love is how we come closest to being like God. When we love others, regardless of their capacity to love us back, we most perfectly mirror the Divine. Wouldn't it be a blessing if what passes for love on Valentine's Day was just such a divine love as that? And that it was like that every day? If that came to pass, we'd soon run out of both chocolate and roses.
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