FROM THE DESK OF MRS. PAT FARRELL, DIRECTOR OF SPIRITUAL FORMATION

As you know, Lent began this Wednesday, Feb. 14th.This year, it coincided with Valentine’s Day. While this has become a secular symbol of romantic love, the roots of Valentine’s day, do rest in the story of at least two real people, who became a saints in the church.

According the United States Conference of Bishops, “How February 14 came to be celebrated as the feast for those in love is somewhat a mystery. What little is known of the feast’s namesake can be attributed to the lives of two martyrs: one a priest, the other a bishop. Their lives bear little resemblance to the contemporary holiday. The priest, Valentine, reportedly was beheaded in 269 by Emperor Claudius II. The bishop, known for healing, was martyred earlier. It’s probable that a medieval custom of sending messages of love on this day merged later .” (usccb.org)

So what is my point? As we enter Lent, whether it be on Valentine’s Day or another day, Lent leads us to true, eternal love. Thus the emphasis of Lent, on prayer, penance, sacrifice, and giving helps us refocus our lives on relationships with others and, ultimately, with God, through Christ’s sacrifice.

Because of the success of our Catholic Schools’ Week theme- kindness, which is derived from love, and all the attributes that go along with it – giving, compassion and many others, we will continue to embrace this theme during Lent – and throughout the year so we become Easter people.

Who are “Easter people”? We are those who accept the call to a different kind of life—a different way of living.  As “Easter People,” our response to the gift of forgiveness and eternal life compels us to try to live lives that reflect our new status.  We are a people forgiven, healed and renewed by Jesus’ Body and Blood, and we are called to share that Good News with the whole world. So that is what we prepare for during Lent. It is much more challenging than giving up a Snicker’s bar, but it is life as God has called us to live.

So make the decision to journey toward all that God means us to be!