Did you know that the last time Ash Wednesday and Saint Valentine’s Day landed on the same date was over 70 years ago, 1945 in fact,? Seemingly they have nothing in common, but then again, maybe they do? Are they not both about our heart’s well-being?
The ultimate image of discipleship, according to John, is placing our ear to Jesus’ heart. In fact, the true disciple is the one who is attentive to Jesus’ heartbeat and sees the world with that sound in his/her ear. Who would ever have connected Ash Wednesday with Valentine’s Day? Yet, to receive the ashes on our forehead on Ash Wednesday is our way of committing ourselves to listen to our Lover’s heartbeat. As we do, our heart becomes attuned to his; we become more compassionate to the weak, the weary and those in need in our world. Teilhard de Chardin could have been referring to either Ash Wednesday or Valentine’s Day when he stated that the great secret, the great mystery is this: there is a heart of the world, and the heart of the world is this, Jesus Christ.
I wish you a blessed Ash Wednesday and Lent.
Sue Richardson pbvm