For centuries, women have enjoyed receiving notes or letters with sweet messages. Whether they were from beaus, husbands or friends, these messages often lead to nice feelings and romantic emotions. Many famous poets, writers and musicians were known to write lengthy letters filled with expressions of passion and romance. Mark Twain wrote a love letter to his future wife, Olivia Langdon, on May 12, 1869. In it he wrote:
Out of the depths of my happy heart wells a great tide of love and prayer for this priceless treasure that is confided to my life-long keeping. You cannot see its intangible waves as they flow towards you, darling, but in these lines you will hear, as it were, the distant beating of the surf.
Oh yes, women do enjoy receiving sweet messages from those who love them! I began to think about letters written by men to communities, such as St. Paul’s writings to the community of Corinth, where he tells them about the way of love.
Love is patient, love is kind. … It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:7-8).
Paul’s message penetrates heart and mind. His message directs them to love others.
A letter by another man of influence that gave direction, meaning, joy, and hope, was written by Pope John Paul II . On June 29, 1995, he wrote a letter giving thanks to all women throughout the world for their femininity. When I read that letter, I took it personally. As a woman, I was so proud and happy to learn of the dignity and vocation of women being so eloquently articulated.
Thank you, every woman, for the simple fact of being a woman! Through the insight which is so much a part of your womanhood you enrich the world’s understanding and help to make human relations more honest and authentic. (sect 2)
Not only is John Paul II speaking to all women, he is speaking directly to the hearts and minds of every individual woman, and is giving thanks to God for the gift of our femininity. It is a beautiful letter written by a man who knew about the dignity and rights of women.
In preparation for Valentine’s Day, stores offer numerous cards with scenes of couples in passionate embrace and with messages describing their emotions. However, I’ve noticed how commercialism has portrayed these messages outside the true dignity of love between man and woman with sexual innuendos that reduce individuals to objects of sexual satisfaction.
This Valentine’s Day, or any day you share your romantic feelings with the one you love, think about adding a message that would help the other recognize their dignity as created in the image of God, as a son or daughter of God. Your expressions of passion and romantic feelings will follow well.