Happy Valentines – Ash Wednesday for this coming February 14th. This year a peculiar confluence of the calendar happens. Two secular holidays fall on the most sacred of holidays for Christians. Ash Wednesday is on Valentine’s Day and Easter is April Fool’s Day.
St. Valentine, in memory of whom Valentine’s Day is commemorated, was a martyr, though we don’t know much else about him. There are legends that he married couples so the husband would not have to go to war under Emperor Claudius. All the stories agree that he was executed for his faith on Valentine’s Day, February 14th.
There may be something that Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday have in common. Both make us aware of our human frailty and the need to trust in God. If we listen to the song “The Rose”, and think of “you” as being God or Jesus, it expresses the sacrifice, the promise, the hope and the serendipity of resurrection that comes in grounded love, whether it is love of spouses or love/compassion for others.
Some say love it is a river That drowns the tender reed
Some say love it is a razor That leaves your soul to bleed
Some say love it is a hunger, An endless aching need
I say love it is a flower, And you it’s only seed
It’s the heart afraid of breaking That never learns to dance
It’s the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance
It’s the one who won’t be taken Who cannot seem to give
And the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live
When the night has been too lonely; And the road has been too long
And you think that love is only For the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed That with the sun’s love In the spring Becomes the rose