Unselfish love

It's St Valentine's day, and, of course, hearts are everywhere! Be they pink, red, fluffy, shiny, sparkling, chocolate, cheesecake, singing or dancing, today is the day when hearts are most definitely on display!

The popular image of the heart - whatever its colour or flavour - bears only a passing resemblance to an actual human heart, which, in reality is not an attractive sight - nowhere near as pretty as the images we create. And yet... go beyond its unprepossessing appearance, beyond the ungainly mass of tissue, and here we have the source of all life for each one of us, something which - even if science proves it's not the source of so many positive qualities and emotions - is the very centre and fundament of our being.

A while back I came across this quote, attributed to someone called Charles Martin. I have no idea who he is or was (Google makes several suggestions), but his words are definitely wise...

If anything in the universe reflects the fingerprint of God, it is the human heart. It derives no benefit from the blood it pumps making it the most unselfish of organs...it is also the most courageous and faithful.

And if a human heart can be so unselfish, then how much more selfless can the all-loving Heart of God be? God, as we know, has no need of our praise or devotion. Our loving God does not - cannot - make his love for us any greater; in fact, whether we love him or not, he continues to pour out generous, abundant love, continues to hold and sustain us, in what can only be pure, gratuitous unselfish love... Love which finds its epitome on the Cross, and in the Piercing of Jesus' Heart.

How can we respond?... except to ask and aim for the grace of uniting our own hearts to the Heart of Jesus, to learn from his attitudes, and make his gratuitous, unselfish love our own.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone - Happy day for celebrating love!