You might think I’m crazy, but I think we should look at Lent in the same way that a lot of people look at St. Valentines’ Day.
Yep…you heard me.
In fact, I find it quite apropos that in most years, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the “ominous” shadow of Lent.
Why? Because all the flowers and chocolates are symbols of exactly what Lent is all about – self-giving.
Our gifts to each other are evidence of love. To put it in heavier terms, they’re external actions that signify an interior reality. We physically demonstrate our love through gifts.
And that’s the heart of Lent.
But instead of giving Godiva and roses, we’re giving ourselves, which is exactly what we’re called to do.
“Greater love has no man than this,” says Christ, “that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
The penances we’ll undertake in just a few, short days aren’t meant to be drudgery. They’re meant to be sacrificial actions driven by love. “Love is the soul of sacrifice,” says Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen.
So when you really think about it, Lent is way more of a celebration of love than Valentines Day, or any other human holiday.
Because through it, we sacrificially demonstrate love to Our Lord, who out of incredible love did exactly the same thing for us on the Cross.
It’s all just something to keep in mind as you’re ponding possible penances this year.
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