ON Valentine’s Day, I met with seven others at an Altrincham Interfaith Group Friendship Circle in the home of one of our members.

Our theme, understandably, was love.

Several of us had brought poems, readings and accounts of how love enriches our lives.

It seemed to be a common theme amongst all the religions represented in the room.

We heard of the Islamic thought that God is the ultimate source of love.

The veil that separates us from God is our own ego which needs to be eliminated as we deal with our pride.

The Jewish philosopher and former Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sachs, was quoted, showing how God’s purposes and love for his creation are carried forward, in spite of the family problems recorded in the Bible in the book of Genesis.

The Buddhist concept of the five aspects of love was discussed. We distinguished between romantic love and God’s love for all of us.

St Paul’s words, from the letter he wrote to the Christians in Corinth nearly two thousand years ago, had a timeless quality maybe explaining why they are so often chosen for weddings and funerals.

“Love is patient, is kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs. So Faith, Hope and love remain but the greatest of these is Love.”

These ideas provide a standard to aim for however frequently we fail. It was a thought-provoking Valentine’s Day Discussion.

Ruth Neal

Altrincham Interfaith Group