Thursday, February 14, 2008

V is for virtue

Reader Kenneth Wolfe sends St. Augustine's homily for St. Valentine's Day, which used to be a feast day on the Catholic calendar for the martyred saint (the date is now the feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodius):

The day of triumph of the blessed Martyr Valentine returns to us today in its yearly celebration. As the Church rejoices in his glorification, so it proposes that his footsteps be followed. For if we suffer together, we shall also be glorified together.

In his glorious struggle two things must particularly be considered by us, namely, the brutality of his torture and the undefeated patience of the Martyr: the savageness of his torture, that we may censure it; the patience of the Martyr, that we may imitate it.

Heed the Psalmist railing against evilness: "Do not imitate those doing evil, since they quickly dry up like hay." Heed the Apostle urging that patience must be extended to those doing evil: "Patience is necessary for us, that we may earn the promises [of salvation]."