Happy Love Day!

Wishing everyone the biggest heart-filled, cup overfloweth, explosively positive day of Agápe, Éros, Philia, and Storge. One of my most memorable college lectures was given by Professor Bart D. Ehrman, who has since gone on to NYT Bestseller fame (“Misquoting Jesus,” “God’s Problem,” and “Jesus Interrupted”). He took a special moment in our giant lecture hall to spellbind us with descriptions of all the different types of love and how, if we were lucky, we would find that in our significant other. He then went on to give a glowing and tear worthy description of his wife. I never forgot that lecture, though I’ve since lost my notes. Wikipedia to the rescue:

Agápe (ἀγάπη agápē[1]) means “love” (unconditional love) in modern day Greek, such as in the term s’agapo (Σ’αγαπώ), which means “I love you”. In Ancient Greek, it often refers to a general affection or deeper sense of “true love” rather than the attraction suggested by “eros”. Agape is used in the biblical passage known as the “love chapter”, 1 Corinthians 13, and is described there and throughout the New Testament as sacrificial love. Agape is also used in ancient texts to denote feelings for a good meal, one’s children, and the feelings for a spouse. It can also be described as the feeling of being content or holding one in high regard. Agape was appropriated by Christians for use to express the unconditional love of God. Before agape love there was no other word to express such great love.

Éros (ἔρως érōs[2]) is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. The Modern Greek word “erotas” means “intimate love;” however, eros does not have to be sexual in nature. Eros can be interpreted as a love for someone whom you love more than the philia, love of friendship. It can also apply to dating relationships as well as marriage. Plato refined his own definition: Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or even becomes appreciation of beauty itself. Plato does not talk of physical attraction as a necessary part of love, hence the use of the word platonic to mean, “without physical attraction.” In the Symposium, the most famous ancient work on the subject, Plato has the middle-aged Athenian philosopher, Socrates argue to aristocratic intellectuals and a young male acolyte in sexual pursuit of him, that eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth, the ideal “Form” of youthful beauty that leads us humans to feel erotic desire — thus suggesting that even that sensually-based love aspires to the non-corporeal, spiritual plane of existence; that is, finding its truth, just like finding any truth, leads to transcendence. Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth through the means of eros.”

Philia (φιλία philía[3]) means friendship or affectionate love in modern Greek. It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. In ancient texts, philos denoted a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers.

Storge (στοργή storgē[4]) means “affection” in ancient and modern Greek. It is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring. Rarely used in ancient works, and then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family. It is also known to express mere acceptance or putting up with situations, as in “loving” the tyrant.

I feel blessed to have so many forms of love in so many areas of life. I truly feel like the Ten of Cups every single day. Yesterday, shortly after I posted photos from Grandma Van’s 100th Birthday Party, the DVD of party photos arrived in the mail. In honor of Valentine’s Day and all the love in my life, I thought I’d share a few other favorites here:

With David

Me with my Sis, Bro and one of my nephews (the other arrived moments later)

The "Crazy" Extended Family Shot

More Mama Love

My dad’s shy, so I’ve not included any public photos of him except in the group shot. He actually looks great! You’d never know he’s been battling cancer the past six months. In fact, his spiritual transformation has been so great that he was one of the most radiant, joyful people in the room. He’s still got a lot of hair, and his aura was so shiny that when I first saw him I thought he looked 10 years younger. In any case, I love my family, and I love David. So grateful to have made this journey home!

Happy Valentine’s Day and lots and lots of love to all of you on this special day of love!

4 responses to this post.

  1. Thank you & Love to you too!



  2. Posted by Erin W. Formica on February 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I couldn’t agree more about your dad! I think he looks wonderful and reading his emails, I find that I am smiling and laughing because of his joyfulness! Although, I know having dogs has helped…our animal friends also give us a great glow!



  3. Posted by laurabruno on February 15, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Love to both of you coming through at 12:34!



  4. Reblogged this on Laura Bruno's Blog and commented:

    This 2012 Valentine’s Day post has come to mind many, many times this past week, so up it goes again. Happy Love Day, today and all days …



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