Here’s a little groundhog furry and brown
He’s coming up to have a look around
If he sees his shadow, down he’ll go
Then six more weeks of winter, Oh NO!!
Hereabout in the southern Shenandoah Valley the weather has been so mild as
not to be winter at all....so far. So if we are lucky, the furry creature will
slumber through February 2nd and last year’s autumn will be extended into this year’s spring! Fingers crossed!
Thanks to St. Valentine, February’s great theme is love. Long before him, though, St. John wrote the grandest definition
of them all: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son,
that whosoever believed in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Saints through the
ages have added to that exquisite truth. In her little booklet “If”,
Amy Carmichael has voiced the sentiment of so many. She writes: “There are times when something comes into our lives which is charged with love in such a way that
it seems to open the Eternal Things, and the greatest of these is love. It may
be a small and intimate touch upon us or our affairs, light as the touch of the dawnwind on the leaves of the tree, something
not to be captured and told to another in words. But we know that it is our Lord....
Or it is the dear human love about us that bathes us as in summer seas and rests us through and through. Can we ever cease to wonder at the love of our companions? And
then suddenly we recognize our Lord in them. It is His love that they lavish
upon us. O Love of God made manifest in Thy lovers, we worship Thee. Or (not often, perhaps for dimness seems to be more wholesome for us here, but sometimes, because our Lord
is very merciful) it is given to us to look up through the blue air and see the love of God.
And yet, after all, how little we see! “That
ye may be able to comprehend what is the breadth and length and depth and height and to know the love of Christ which passeth
knowledge” – the words are too great for us.
What do we comprehend, what do we know? Confounded and abased, we enter
into the Rock and hide us in the dust before the glory of the Majesty of love -- the
love whose symbol is the cross. And a question pierces then: What do I know of Calvary love?”
Leo Buscaglia who wrote the book LOVE was a pen pal and mentor because he taught me that love and real life were
one and the same. People who have never truly lived have never known true love, the love that comes as the supreme gift from
heaven. In his book Loving, Living, and Learning he writes: “Don’t miss love. It’s an
incredible gift. I love to think that the day you’re born, you’re
given the world as your birthday present....It’s just full of love and magic and life and joy and wonder and pain and
tears. All of the things are your gifts for being human. Not only the really happy things—there’s a lot of pain in there, a lot of tears. A lot of magic, a lot of wonder, a lot of confusion. But that’s
what life is. ...I think the loving person must return to spontaneity –return to touching each other, to holding each
other, to smiling at each other, to thinking of each other, to caring about each other....to
learn to trust again, to believe again.
'... all at once I heard the singsong voice of a child
in a nearby house. Whether it was the voice of a boy or a girl I cannot say, but again and again it repeated the refrain "Tolle,
lege! Tolle, lege!" [Take, read!]. At this I looked up, thinking hard whether there was any kind of game in which children
used to chant words like these, but I could not remember ever hearing them before. I stemmed my flood of tears and stood up,
telling myself that this could only be a divine command to open my book of Scripture and read ...' Augustine of Hippo, AD 354-430
Feb 1, 2012