Once again, it’s February 14, the Feast Day of St. Valentine and as always, love is truly in the air! Coincidentally, Catholic Christians all over the world will also begin the forty-day Lent with Ash Wednesday happening with Valentine’s Day.
While Valentine’s is commonly associated with romantic stuff like dating and courtship, Lent is marked by the Church’s more intense focus on prayer, almsgiving, and fasting. One thing is common between these two celebrations – love. The first one calls for the renewal and deepening of one’s love for others while the second one invites everyone into a season of conversion where people could truly encounter the love of God.
Here are 6 things we need to remember to make our celebration of this love month and our relationships extra memorable and meaningful.
1. Real Men Commit to Real Love
How do we know if love is real? Is real love real? Real love, I think, is accepting and valuing someone for who s/he is and willing nothing but the best for that person. Real love does not seek anything in return but gives all to the beloved – even if it is not easy, even if it would sacrifices.
As St. Paul said, love is also patient and kind. It does not seek itself and dishonor the other. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. But the best thing in what he said is this – true love never fails for it always wins.
2. Love Wins if Men Respect Women
Respect can be shown in various ways. People in a relationship can show their mutual respect for one another through the way they talk, dress – or even think! But most of all, I think respect makes love win when a man and a woman sees each other as persons to love and not as things to use. This realization leads both a man and a woman to a path of modesty and decency.
Would you believe that respect is also expressed in decency?
3. Dun Tayo sa Cutie na Disente Pa (Let’s Go for Someone Who’s Cute and Decent)
Girls, not all cute men are bad boys! Cute and decent guys do exist. Look around you, some of them might be wearing glasses. Kidding (but jokes are half-meant, right?) 😉
Can your boyfriend pass the decency test? Let’s see.
Does he give suggestive remarks on proving your love through sleeping together? Hmmm, that could be a major red flag – is love just sexual? Not quite.
Does he make rash remarks about the way you or other girls dress? Does he curse a lot? Remember that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Our words are the reflection of who we are as persons. 🙂
To put it simply, does he respect you and women in general?
Does he respect you (and himself) by practicing self-control? Remember…
4. Ang Tunay na Lodi, May Kontrol Sa Sarili (The one we should idolize is the one who has self-control)
Let’s be frank here – would you marry in the future someone who cannot even control his urges today? I think it is helpful to remember the dignity of man – that among all creatures man alone possesses the capacity to think and to choose. Therefore, the good news is we have the power to choose not to be enslaved by our urges.
5. Good Guys Save Sex
Let’s set the record straight. Sex is a sacred wonderful gift from God. It is not evil and the objective of struggling for chastity is not the annihilation of our sexual desires but the real understanding of its purpose in the divine design.
And while you are slowly taking in the contents of this blog, remember our last tip…
6. Kung ‘Di Makatulog Sa Gabi, Magdasal Nang Mabuti. (If you cannot sleep at night, pray well.)
You may not agree with everything you have just read. It’s okay, but I encourage you to pray more about it. After all, we are in the season of Lent as well. This is an invitation for us to allow God to show us the way to real love and true happiness that we deserve.
In case you are wondering why the pictures have #freefromporn, those pictures are part of the recent campaign of Prolife Philippines, Filipinos for Life, and other groups. Last Sunday, February 11, we went to Luneta Park in Manila to give free candies with quotes on love, encouraging people to give chastity a chance. You may want to watch the video of this activity from one of the news programs in the country:
Here are the other quotes we have included in the candies…
DISCLAIMER: Not all Tindr users are “users.” This quote should be understood in the context of those who use this app to derive inappropriate sexual pleasures from people through indecency (e.g. asking for nude pictures, etc.)
NOTE: All images and quotations are conceptualized and designed by Mark Villaluna. Bernz Caasi gave some inputs in the conceptualization of quotes.