Try Jesus, Not Jared: Inspiration For Valentine’s Day


Jesus Not Jared

I just had the world’s briefest prayer session.

I do some work at my parish, and I have an office here. So I have the advantage of having access to a Blessed Sacrament chapel right here in the building. I drop in often when I’ve got a problem to work through or a question only He can answer….or, in this case, an article to write.

I wanted to write about singles and Valentine’s Day. I’ve written on the subject several times before, including an article for CatholicMatch way back in 2005.

The approach I took back then was that of course singles hate Valentine’s Day, but that the rest of the world isn’t so crazy about it either. It’s a feelings-on-command kind of day, where expectations are high and romance is required. And most relationships here in the real world just can’t measure up year after year.

Yes, even if he went to Jared for some pretty new jewelry. Sometimes Jared just isn’t enough.

Nice insight, even worth repeating briefly here. But I didn’t want to just re-hash an old article. I wanted some new insight, something deeper than the standard “Valentine’s Day is about all kinds love” speech that we singles usually get.

And so, instead of going to Jared, I went to Jesus.

I went into the freezing cold chapel (it’s been a little chilly here lately), I knelt down in a half-huddled position, and I asked for His peace and protection.  Then I asked for the grace to pray in His heart—to really see what He sees.

And this is what immediately came to my mind: “They lament being alone when I am right beside them, longing to give them my love.”

Yeah, that works.

I am right beside you, longing to give you my love. #BestValentineEver Click To Tweet

Seriously, I don’t know if that was the voice of God speaking to my heart or the inspiration of the Holy Spirit or just a really good insight at a really opportune time.

Whatever it was, I knew it was what I needed to hear, what you all need to hear, and what I want to share. So I thanked him profusely, left the chapel and here I am, typing.

Beyond the cliché

I am well aware that “Jesus loves you” is perhaps the most overused cliché in the entire English language. And it’s probably not what we want to hear in the midst of our annual Valentine’s Day Pity Parties.

“It’s not the same,” we say. “I don’t want platitudes. I want romance. I want passion.”

No, it’s not the same.

The love of a physical, finite, limited human spouse is nothing like the love of the immortal, all-powerful Creator of the Universe—although they are apparently similar enough that He described His love in marital terms. But since we don’t have the spousal love, we might as well spend some time contemplating the Divine love.

Here’s what we don’t get: He really loves us. He longs for us. He waits for us to come to Him. He’s right there, dwelling within us, waiting for us to turn our attention to Him. He died for His love for us. And He’s still with us today, constantly acting in our lives, doing big and small things that remind us of His love for us.

He gave us our families and our opportunities and our health and our lives. He made grass smell sweet after it’s been mowed, so we could bask in the scent. He finds us good parking spaces.

We’re at home feeling sorry for ourselves on Valentine’s Day because we want someone who is crazy, head-over-heels in love with us. We want someone who can’t stop thinking about us, someone who always looks out for us and leaves us little surprise gifts and misses us when we’re away.

Longing for someone who can't stop thinking about you? Look up. Click To Tweet

And yet, we have exactly what we want—and so much more—right there beside us the whole time. We aren’t alone. He’s there, just waiting for us to acknowledge Him, to thank Him, to love Him in return.

Intimate prayer

Maybe that’s what we all need to do this Valentine’s Day. Go to Him. You can visit Him at His place—your local Blessed Sacrament Chapel. Or you can invite Him to your place.

Either way, create some quiet time and a peaceful atmosphere. Clear your mind, light some candles, turn off the phone. Then ask God for His peace and protection. Thank Him. Ask Him for the grace to pray within His Heart. Ask Him to help you to somehow know His love for you, in whatever way He wishes to show it to you.

You might spend some time reading something about His love—parts of the Gospel of John, or a few passages from He and I by Gabrielle Bossis (a classic on the intensely personal love of God.)

And then just listen. You may hear something or feel something very distinctly. You may not.

You may experience something very subtle. You may not.

But whatever happens, you will have spent time with the One who loves your more than any Valentine ever could. And that will change you.

And when people start to ask what’s different about you, you’ll know what it is.

You went to Jesus.



  1. Teresa-1318033 February 23, 2017 Reply

    Perfect article – courtesy of God, with vital assistance from Mary Beth. But there is one disclaimer she did not have to make…..Particularly in front of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel:
    the voice of God speaking to my heart = the inspiration of the Holy Spirit = a really good insight at a really opportune time.
    Please continue to pass those along to us when you hear them! 🙂

  2. Jeanet-1306468 February 23, 2017 Reply

    Lovely.if i dont have a date on this Valentines day..might be on next time..i believe GOD provides

  3. Ngazomo-1394126 February 15, 2017 Reply

    i’m so glad and that day is a mierveglious in the year giving love is the best thing in this world as there is not too love around when we are looking around peolple are suffring and is too difficult to meet love but is better to be also lovely person so i am and i wont to give this love to some one better, some who is looking for being in love i whish you so many love all of us and i hope love to all good day and love love and over love

  4. Ann-1312598 February 15, 2017 Reply

    Thank you for this beautiful article. It has helped me to thank Jesus tonight for a beautiful Valentine’s Day: the sweet little smiling faces of my students as they passed around their little valentines; the love of my family, and the blessing of having Our Beloved Lord available to us at holy Mass each day. Yes, we are truly blessed! Thanks be to God, and thank you Mary Beth for reminding us!

  5. Helen-1412148 February 15, 2017 Reply

    How true! You know I never thought of Valentine in that perspective. I read the article and started to feel sad. Indeed! He has been there. The “Divine Love” he gives that infinitely. I understand now. Thank you so much for sharing this. Bless you.

  6. Catalina-1170547 February 14, 2017 Reply

    Amazing. Perfectly said. I need more inspirational message like. Kudos. God bless always.

  7. Frank-1381685 February 14, 2017 Reply

    That was an inspiring article it made me stop and say a short prayer. Thank You Jesus for revealing your self to all that has read or will read this article. I’m sitting in my car ready to drive home I’m feeling sorry for myself because my wife who past away from cancer last year is gone. Thank you Jesus for this love we had shared. Thank You for loving me.

  8. Philoe-1396201 February 14, 2017 Reply

    Am more elevated in my view about true love in Jesus and being intimate with Him through constant communication and staying in His presence. I know He misses me, but I thirst for His love even more especially this time when I feel alone. I love you Jesus.
    Thank you for such inspiration 🙂

  9. Sanja-1346001 February 14, 2017 Reply

    “When you say “My Beloved Jesus, I give you my whole life,” do you realize that at the same time I give you more, because even what you give to Me is what I have give to you? Admit that all you have comes from Me. Everything is a gift from Me.”
    (op. prev. He and I-Gabrielle Bossis)

  10. Maureen-975354 February 14, 2017 Reply

    This was exactly what I needed to hear at this very moment. Even though I know God loves me unconditionally and continuously , it’s hard to conceptualize at times how that physically feels. I’m HUGE on physical affection and touch, and at times I really long to be held by Jesus or the Virgin Mary…to physically be comforted and loved by them. I know, I probably sound weird but what can I say? That’s me I guess. Again, thank you for posting your article. I greatly benefited from reading it! Have an awesome day!

    • Teresa-1318033 February 23, 2017 Reply

      You don’t sound weird. Those are my feelings exactly. Jesus is the perfect spouse, if only He had solid arms I could physically feel wrapped around me! (His only shortcoming! 🙂 ) And Mary’s would do as well. I hear ya!

  11. Lynn-1389135 February 14, 2017 Reply

    Thank YOU for the beautiful reminders that the Greatest Love in our life, the only love that will give us true peace and filled up this restless hole in our hearts can only be found in God alone.

  12. Kathryn-1280735 February 14, 2017 Reply

    That was very beautiful. And absolutely true.

  13. Joel-1364361 February 13, 2017 Reply

    I am at a work conference and tomorrow they have an optional non-denominational prayer breakfast early for those wishing to attend. I have signed up and while the majority of those attending the conference are out socializing. I have chosen to check into my room early, review some comments on the CM forum and then the rosary before getting a good night sleep before the prayer breakfast. God is definitely strong in my heart and soul. He will guide me to the one that he has chosen for me. God is Good!

  14. Leanne-387609 February 13, 2017 Reply

    Powerful words. This Valentine’s Day I am remembering all the love that already exists within my life.:)

  15. Dan-1405968 February 13, 2017 Reply

    Thank you for that article. It reminded me of this verse from a hymn by Carey Landry:

    The wilderness will lead you to your heart where I will speak.
    Integrity and justice with tenderness you shall know.
    Long have I waited for your coming home to me
    and living deeply our new life.

    May He quench our thirst and satisfy our hunger for love.

  16. Gloria-1402672 February 13, 2017 Reply

    Wow..that was a really good article. So much better than what you usually read targeted towards singles on Valentine’s Day. I now know what I’m doing tomorrow night. 😀

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