‘And some say love is holding on and some say letting go

                      Some say love is everything and some say they don’t know’

                                           Perhaps Love, John Denver/ Placido Domingo


                 One can only imagine the amount of songs that have been written about love. This is not to mention all the love poetry. Whilst he does not appear in the Church liturgical calendar, a few days ago there was a big focus on St. Valentine. The first Valentine was a priest martyred under Claudius, the second was Bishop of Terni, killed around the same time, and the third we know nothing about, except that he died in Africa. The one that dominated this past few days is most likely to be the second of these. There was a lot of flowers, chocolates and cards bought, and a lot of money spent… and indeed money made! It has, as a celebration, become very commercialised. However before we slide into the  holier than thou, or fall into the trap of cynicism, let us remember, for many,  it remains about love. Perhaps that is the key question: is it about love? As the song says,

     ‘What’s love got to do, got to do with it

                            What’s love but a second hand emotion’,

                                           What’s Love Got to Do with It, Tina Turner

However for all it’s messiness, love can move from the ordinary to extraordinary. In fact love can be heroic. We see this in couples who encounter really difficult situations, such as serious illness, financial hardship and successive disappointments in life. Sometimes they even surprise each other with the deep well of mutual love that they discover they have to draw on. Sometimes you see this heroic love in people caring for an elderly relative. Mother Teresa lived a life of heroic love, and indeed urged her Sisters to ‘ love until it hurts!’ The challenge for us is the fact that each of us are called to this heroic love. We are called to love until it hurts. Actually we should not be waiting for the big moment, the major call to duty, but rather practice heroic love in small ways each day

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