Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, can be a day of love or dread because of its emphasis on roses, chocolate, candlelight and expensive dates. However, it can also simply be about taking special care to show your love and appreciation for the people who are special to you. Many great religious thinkers and spiritual texts have offered thoughts on the power of love, from the Hebrew Bible to the Christian New Testament, Lao Tzu to Mother Teresa. In the name of deepening the meaning of this day, HuffPost Religion has compiled some of the most loving wisdom.
A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate. -- Proverbs 15:17 (NLT)
Smile at each other, smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other -- it doesn't matter who it is -- and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other. -- Mother Teresa
Love is a consistent passion to give, not a meek persistent hope to receive. The only demand of life is the privilege to love all. -- Swami Chinmayananda
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. -- Song of Solomon 8:6 (NIV)
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. -- Lao Tzu
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. -- 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV)
Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained. -- C.S. Lewis
A life devoid of love is a flower blooming in the wilderness,
With nobody to enjoy its fragrance. -- Kabir Ji, Gauri Rag (Sikh)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails... -- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)
A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another. If these minds love one another, the home will be as beautiful as a flower garden. But if these minds get out of harmony with one another it is like a storm that plays havoc with the garden. -- Saying Traditionally Attributed to the Buddha
Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me." -- Ruth 1:16-17 (NKJV)
We cannot love unless we have accepted forgiveness, and the deeper our experience of forgiveness is, the greater is our love. -- Paul Tillich
The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere,
they're in each other all along.
-- From Essential Rumi translated by Coleman Barks