Leading up to the Valentine’s Day holiday, some folks at my school thought it appropriate to give students a chance to express their feelings for one another. Sadly, the exchange reflects the modern misunderstanding of what love is all about. Here is the announcement:

LSRJ Condogram Sale!

As part of National Condom Week and in preparation of Valentine’s Day Law Students for Reproductive Justice will be selling condograms in the lobby from Monday (2/8) to Thursday (2/11) 12:15-1:30. Each unique condogram includes a poem, a condom, and a dash of creativity costing a mere $2.

How sad. But not unexpected. After all, many people today think that love is little more than a physical act–regardless of whether you are married or even committed to one another. Without the “threat” of getting pregnant, the interaction is made even more selfish–the pursuit of personal pleasure compared to a loving gift of self.

The sentiments expressed in the announcement above is exactly the cheap and incomplete view of love that the Church opposes. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body speaks precisely to this point. In attempting to give yourself to another outside of marriage–or through contraception within marriage–you actually hold yourself back. A lover’s statement becomes, “I give myself to you, but . . . .” There is a part of yourself you are unwilling to give away, and that lack of complete self-giving cheapens the gift that is love. It distorts what love is meant to be and how it is meant to be given to another.

Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, the day of the week that we call to mind the immense gift of love given by Love Himself. Let us pray that the distorted views of society are transformed to reflect true Love more and more.

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