Wednesday, February 11, 2009

On Love
The first Valentine's Day card was sent by Charles, Duke of Orleans in 1415 from the most unlikely of places-the Tower of London. Charles was imprisoned there . He sent a love note to his wife. It is now on display at the British Museum. I was in London this past summer and I visited the Tower of London, quite an experience.  I didn't see the love note that Charles wrote to his wife at the British Museum but I did see the Rosetta Stone, which was fascinating. The stone is made of black basalt. London is a beautiful city, but I can't say I love any city but New York. New York is my favorite city in the world. I'm slightly biased, since I'm a native New Yorker. 
The letter below tells of true love, unconditional love. It's rare, quite beautiful and it is expressed in this letter which tells of love even in the midst of extreme suffering and pain. It expresses the love of a Carmelite nun at the end of a beautiful, selfless life.  It was written on September 30th, 1897 from Mother Agnes of Jesus to M. and Mme. Guerin and Leonie Martin, "Our angel is in heaven. She gave up her last sign at seven o'clock, pressing her crucifix to her heart and saying: "Oh! I love you!" She had just lifted her eyes to heaven; what was she seeing!" The angel Mother Agnes spoke of was her sister, Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower. Therese is a saint and the youngest doctor of the Church and after suffering terribly at the end of her short life, she only had words of love for Jesus. Unconditional love for God, love without conditions.  (The letter is from St. Therese of Lisieux-her last conversations translated by John Clarke, O.C.D.)