Love effects resurrection. The two realities go together. Like a sunrise that overcomes the night, enlightening the morning sky with color and light, God’s Love pervades even the darkness of sin, encompasses us in our weakness and draws us to Himself. The God who first breathed us into existence is the same Who sacrificed His life on the cross that we might share in His eternal beatitude. We glimpse this truth in the love of spouses or friends, which brings growth and life for the other through the giving of time and self. How much more does the Self-offering of the God-Man, envisaged in His pierced and bleeding Heart, sacrificed for our rebellion against his Love, manifest His power to raise to new life those who know nothing of His Love.
Have you ever wondered how ironic it is to celebrate LOVE in the middle of winter? Saint Valentine’s Day is observed every year on February 14th. A normally cold overcast day: flowerless, colorless, damp, wet, inspiring hardly any sentimental glory. Yet even the starkness of nature gives a true reflection on the nature of a love that is not tied to appearances but “endures all things” (1 Cor 13:7). One of the most stirring portraits in literature of love’s resurrections is found in Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment…
“How it happened he did not know. But all at once something seemed to seize him and fling him at her feet. He wept and threw his arms round her knees. For the first instant she was terribly frightened and she turned pale. She jumped up and looked at him trembling. But at the same moment she understood, and a light of infinite happiness came into her eyes. She knew and had no doubt that he loved her beyond everything and that at last the moment had come.…
They wanted to speak, but could not; tears stood in their eyes. They were both pale and thin; but those sick pale faces were bright with the dawn of a new future, of a full resurrection into a new life. They were renewed by love; the heart of each held infinite sources of life for the heart of the other.They resolved to wait and be patient. They had another seven years to wait, and what terrible suffering and what infinite happiness before them! But he had risen again and he knew it and felt it in all his being, while she—she only lived in his life.”
This human experience Dostoyevsky relates, reaches into the mystery of our redemption and is an icon of Christ's love for His Church, and our souls. Love will always triumph when we have the courage to lose our life for Jesus, the "Resurrection and the Life."
"You have been born anew, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for 'All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord abides forever.'" 1 Peter 1:23-4
"Love is strong as death..." Song of Songs 8:6