Today we have the unusual event of Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day landing on the same day. On Ash Wednesday, we begin our participation in the yearly period of thinking over our lives and goals, and repentance for sins and failings. We are sternly reminded that we are dust and will return to dust. But on Valentine’s Day we celebrate with those we love the most, giving them gifts, planning memorable activities, and expressing how important these relationships are in our lives. Is there any coherence between the two, or should we forget about one and celebrate the other? Love is the most important thing and we want to do it well, but in our “dusty-ness” we sometimes get it wrong. Perhaps this is the Valentine’s Day when we can think seriously about what we bring to our loving relationships and what we could do better. Are we selfish, controlling and manipulative sometimes? If so, what can be done to improve this, before we return to dust?
Mary Jackle, OSB