One of my favorite theologians is Gregory the Great. He spoke often on the importance of love not as a philosophical ideal but as a necessary (and perpetual) call to action. The same is true of two of my other favorite writers, St. Augustine and Kierkegaard. All three of this men share one more thing in common: they do not speak of love in overly sentimental terms.
They recognized what anyone who has dared to love has experienced first-hand: love is messy. Love is hard. To avoid it is more logical in the immediate, but more harmful in the end. In the works of the aforementioned three writers, the underlying, shared theme is this regarding loving others: This is what you were made for, though at times you will make many many costly errors and endure more pain that you thought possible. That isn’t the end of the story. Keep going.
Whatever this particular holiday may mean to you; whomever you may have given your heart to, and to what extent, remind yourself that love is not a noun but a verb. Deplete yourselves of love today.
As St. Gregory wrote:
“The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it works great things — but when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist.”