V-Day not just for dating but sacrifice – priest to youth

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ORMOC CITY, Feb. 13, 2015 -– “Young people should understand Valentine’s Day in broader perspective and not solely in the context of romantic love,” said a priest, who serves in the youth ministry of the Archdiocese of Palo.

Private individuals take turn in sponsoring breakfast for the needy through La Mesa ni Martha, shown here at the St. Isidore Parish in Macarthur, Leyte. The project, in line with Pope Francis' call of solidarity with the poor, is under the stewardship of Fr. Amadeo Alvero. (Photo: Fr. Amadeo Alvero)

According to Fr. Kim Margallo, director of the Commission on Youth in the Archdiocese of Palo, young people should learn how to distinguish loving from simply liking and not confuse the two, the confusion resulting from which sometimes leads to regrettable acts like pre-marital sex.

He instead called for a deeper comprehension of love in the light of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s encyclical Deus Caritas Est (God is Love) where he talked about agape love or love that is self-giving and sacrificial.

Not just romance

“True love does not wait for anything in return, such as the love of Christ wherein He never stopped loving us in spite of our sinfulness even to the point of death,” Margallo stressed.

He noticed that these days, the agape dimension of love, one that is self-sacrificing, is missing. “We now focus on romantic kind of love, especially among the youth, in that liking is already considered as loving,” he remarked, articulating the Spanish dictum “Te quiero yo te amo.”

Love, he said, is a process that starts with liking first, developing into love as the relationship develops.

Better V-Day celebration

One way of practicing agape love, said the Margallo is by donating to a project of Palo Archbishop John Du, the La Mesa ni Martha, launched in November last year.

With the seed money the prelate provided to each of the 78 parishes in the Archdiocese, the parishes have been able to provide decent breakfast to indigent families on Sunday mornings. He said couples could better celebrate Valentine’s Day by by sharing their time with the poor and sacrifice a bit of their money to feed others.

Margallo, meanwhile clarified that the feast of St. Valentine, which was observed by the early Church, was removed from the General Roman Calendar in the 1969 revision of the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints. (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros/CBCP News)

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