No doubt, this piece is going to be one of the millions of pieces that would be published on various media today on the subject of what we celebrate – Valentine. The newspapers and the magazines must say something; bloggers and nearly everyone on the various social media platforms will say something, too. To say the least, the Facebook posts and twitter tweets will alone run into hundreds of millions, covering features ranging from an exposé on the heroic virtues showcased by St. Valentine, through pieces of ‘free advice’ on the ideal way to run the day, to wishing their significant others happy Val’s day. And so, I’m not sure of writing something special here, but I’m pretty sure I will be writing something pretty different.
Today, I choose to retell a story: The oldest story in the world. The story of boy meets girl and the world stops moving. The story of how it always starts, irrespective of however it may possibly end. It is quite a story, and one we could all, in one way or the other, identify with. It is the story of Pure Love, and we find its very first expression in the first man, Adam.
We may not fully under this story until we travel back in time to Genesis, the very beginning. Imagine Eden. Imagine the assortment of animals and the variety of flowers. Imagine Adam seated there all alone, the only one of his kind; how else would he have found companionship with the animals or be fully satisfied with the banquet of rich food and choicest wines. Yes, in the midst of many he was all alone; in the midst of plenty yet so hungry. He didn’t even know what to expect or ask for until God his God came to the rescue, uttering these fine words: It is not good for man to be alone.
The climax of this story resides where the woman shows up. We can at least isolate two facts here: One, Adam didn’t know she was made with the bone taken from him, for he was not just asleep but was made to sleep deep! Two, Eve’s nakedness didn’t strike any cord in him, for they didn’t yet know about their nakedness until after the Fall. With these facts in mind, two questions are expedient: How come Adam knew she was taken out of him – “bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh!”? How come Adam made such a terrific exclamation, as if he knew what he wanted all along?
I’m not Adam, and I surely wasn’t there with him when the presence of Woman electrified his being, but I know what happened to him: He felt it! This episode reveals that intuition, as a source of knowledge has always been at work, and is as old as Woman. It was intuition that told Adam that she had been taken out of him – that like produces like. It was also intuition that told Adam that Woman was all he needed all along but didn’t know. This intuition is LOVE. Little wonder someone defined love thus: Love is the feeling that you feel when you feel a feeling you’ve never felt before.
Commenting on this story, the oldest story in the world, Scott Hahn submitted that before the Woman Eden was only a garden, turning into Paradise with her coming. And in one way or the other, all those in pure love can identify with this oldest story. When boy meets girl, that girl that fits what only his intuition knows, earth stops moving.
Today, better than any other day, we celebrate this story, and I choose to retell it, The Oldest Story in the World, and the very story of our love. We especially thank Fr. Valentine, of sacrificial memory, for giving us a reason for this celebration and retelling.