Happy Valentine’s Day!

This morning I woke up to an article that’s title read, “The Gruesome Details of Valentine’s Day History.” Did I want to read that? Not really… But then I thought, “How often do we ignore the truths of the past just because they are unpleasant?” More often than we should, I’m afraid.

This is an interesting paradox, because while we should always remember – and learn from (!!) – our past, we also do not want to dwell in it. Holding on to the past often times prevents us from enjoying the present and fully planning for the joys of the future.

This past Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, which is home to my favorite Gospel of the year…which again, poses another paradox I ponder. Matthew 6:3 reads: Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Matthew’s message is to prevent actions of piety that are done just for show: meaning we should not pray so that others see us pray; we should pray to honor God. Just as we should fast not to let others know we are fasting, but in honor of God.

The paradox here is I don’t want to hide my faith. Just the nature of ashes on Ash Wednesday is to proclaim to others our Christian faith. So how do we fast, pray, give alms in a way that honors the Gospel and yet does not hide our faith? I haven’t yet figured that out. But that might be a good topic to ponder for the next 40 days.

Happy Lent!