Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Loveliness of Romance

St. Valentine is the Patron Saint of Romantic Love although a quick perusal through the junk in the mail and the ads on TV would lead you to believe he was the patron of jewelers, florists and candy makers. I think there is more to romance than just flowers and candy, although...those things sure are fun! Personally, my husband can't look cuter than when he is pushing a vacuum. I admit, "romance" has been hard for me. I grew up in a house where it was an obligation for one and often times, a disappointment for the other. So I tried to find a definition of romance; one that didn't just refer to a medieval tale of chivalry or modern tale of bodice ripping. Here is what I found:

(noun) 1 a pleasurable feeling of excitement and wonder associated with love. 2 a love affair. 3 a book or film dealing with love in sentimental or idealized way. 4 a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement and remoteness from everyday life. 5 a medieval tale dealing with a hero of chivalry, of the kind common in the Romance languages.

I wasn't so sure I could identify with any of these definitions. The only mystery in my day is whether or not that smell is coming from the steamed broccoli or the toddler on my hip. Remoteness from everyday life? Ha, ha! I am the remote control of the lives that are found here every day. (Stop that! Rewind and do that again. You might want to change your channel, I mean... attitude!) I got a little worried. Maybe I'm not the romantic type? Maybe the romance is gone?

But then I saw the word... wonder. I can identify with "wonder". I frequently find myself wondering.

I wonder what he does all day? I wonder what he is doing right now? I wonder how he sits in traffic twice a day without shooting someone? I wonder if he notices I'm not 22 anymore? I wonder if the pants draped over the tub are clean or dirty? I wonder why he left them here? I wonder if he thinks I'm crazy? I wonder if he knows how much I depend on him? I wonder if he minds?

Is it a pleasurable feeling? Definitely. I wonder why he picked me? It is a mystery only Our Lord can solve. I am just excited to be in this tale with my hero speaking our own unique language of romance.

There is one other thought that I have in mind especially today. Many children of my generation and my children's generation have had to endure the pain of their parents' divorce. It can be devastating psychologically, emotionally...spiritually. To some, it is the reason they shun all forms of meaningful relationships. For others, they try to find what they missed by falling in love easily but without a proper understanding of marriage and the hard work it requires. These relationships are doomed to fail, over and over again.

We have no idea what kind of family our children's future spouses are growing up in or the hardships and sorrows they are facing. Maybe by offering a prayer for our children's future spouses, we can help earn some of the graces they need to grow spiritually and keep them close to Our Lord as they travel through this valley of tears. Perhaps when we finally meet them, we will be more inclined to treat them with kindness and charity no matter what their history or family background includes. It might make it easier to learn to love them as our child does and to accept their new place in our child's life (and also easier to accept ours). We mamas often times want to protect our children from every kind of hurt and pain, physical and emotional. Shouldn't we also want to do the same for the person they might spend the rest of their life with?

O glorious advocate and protector,
St Valentine,
look with pity upon their wants,
hear their requests,
attend to their prayers,
relieve by your intercession the miseries
under which they labour,
and obtain for them the divine blessing,
that they may be found worthy to join you
in praising the Almighty for all eternity: through the merits of
Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
St. Valentine, Patron of Romantic Love, pray for us.


  1. Very good, Matilda! I have those "wonder moments," too! And share your concern about my hc

  2. woops!---
    about my children's future spouses.

  3. Matilda -
    Just beautiful. I too "wonder" about my hubby and feel blessed to be part of his life. What a lovely tribute. And thank you for reminding me about praying for my children's future spouses - I never would have thought of that on my own!

  4. What a lovely idea to pray for my children's future spouses.
    Nice post. Glad you participated in this fair. I will stop by here again!

  5. This was a really great post. I wonder most of those same things about my husband.

    My mother told me that she started praying for her children's spouses almost as soon as she found out that she was pregnant. So all our lives she has been praying for both me and my husband. I wish I were as good a mother-in-law, but I rarely remember to pray for them. :(

  6. This is simply lovely, Matilda. And thank you for the reminder to pray for our children's future spouses - so important.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself!