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The Value of Time

In order to understand the value of an year: Ask a student who must repeat the year. In order to understand the value of a month: Ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby. In order to understand the value of a week: Ask an editor from a weekly publication. In order to understand the value of an hour: Ask the lovers who look forward to meeting each other. In order to understand the value of a minute: Ask a person who missed a train. In order to understand the value of a second: Ask a person who survived an accident. In order to understand the value of a millisecond: Ask a person who won a silver medal at the Olympics.

(Excerpt from The Book of Wisdom Books, by Iordache Bota)

The Sinless Kiss

We are young and we often want to learn the mysteries of love, to love and to equally be loved. We give this much thought, actually we think about it most of the time. And one of the thoughts that occupy our mind quite often with regard to this matter… is kissing. Kissing our loved one.

It’s a shame though that we are not aware of the wretched environment in which we are taught to understand kissing, environment in which I myself was raised, of course, environment in which more and more young people are raised: the TV kiss.

We have seen many kisses over the years, especially on TV, some in cheesy movies, others in movies with brilliant stories. But all the kisses we have seen given with such gratuitousness, no matter how beautiful and constructive the love story in which they happened, remain a sin.

And a kiss like that is a sin because it is not sanctified by the mystery of marriage and moreover it is an adulterous kiss because many of the actors and actresses who play such parts are married to other people in their everyday life. No matter how ‘professional’ the kiss is, the sin is still committed, but what’s worse… is that it has an impact on our hearts. And we have partaken of their sin by watching it, so many times.

This is the way we have been taught to seek kissing at all costs, from the earliest age possible, to offer it without thinking what spiritual load and what significance it bears, thus disfiguring one of the most intimate and pure expressions of love and turning it into something sleazy, lustful and trivial.

It was only after I got married that I learned that kissing is not an affectionate act toward your spouse, but a communion of love, in the mystery of the Lord. That I harm myself when I seek kissing frivolously, because kissing is something intimate and profound, and not something superficial done in front of everyone. That for a kiss I must cleanse my lips with prayers and tears, that a kiss is not only related to the lips, but it is a union of the hearts… that the kiss is only meant for a family, for holy relics and icons. That it is not and will never be meant for the boyfriend (girlfriend) of two weeks or two months… but only for the spouse.

It is not until the innocent look of your child approaches your lips, it is not until his purity makes you see your own uncleanness, like in a mirror… that you realize that you are a notorious drunkard standing before a saint.

When you kiss the innocent forehead of your child, how can you not shudder and think that you bemire your own child with the uncleanness of your lips which have been tarnished over the years with so many curses, lies, inebrieties, which have lustfully kissed other lips than those of your child’s mother… and whatnot?!?

How can you not have twinges of your conscience which yells inside you ardently: ‘Holy kiss… where are you?’

There are still girls nowadays who want to kiss only their husband. There are still people who know that kissing is not just a simple touch of the lips, but a liturgical act, it is a mystic communion of two hearts.

Translated by Claudia