Saying “I Love You” with All Your Heart
Make Beautiful Love-Filled Cards for Family and Friends for Valentine’s Eve, February 13th!
This Valentine’s Day, February 14th, is unusual. February 14th this year, 2018, is also Ash Wednesday. In the Catholic Church, Ash Wednesday is more important than Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday have completely different goals and intentions. Valentine’s day is fun and happy and involves card-giving and sweets. It is usually filled with hearts, flowers and chocolate.
Ash Wednesday begins Lent, which lasts for forty days. It is a time of introspection–looking at ourselves and our behavior–and a time to give to others, to pray, and to fast. We have ashes put on our foreheads at church to remind us that we are mortal and will some day pass away.
So what’s a family to do? Why not celebrate on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, also called “Fat Tuesday.” It’s called “Fat Tuesday” because it is a festive
meal, with delicious food, before the forty day fast (eating simply and sparingly, and abstaining from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays.) Personally, I think the English have a great way to enjoy dinner the Tuesday before Lent begins, called “Shrove Tuesday”–eat pancakes! Since chocolate is a major part of Valentine’s Day, perhaps chocolate chip pancakes will be a great dinner for an early Valentine’s Day, this year on February 13th!
Read About Love in Action
Here are three books that have heart. There is so much to read and enjoy from each book. The big book, A Calendar of Saints, is a reference book that will take you through the year, saint by saint, day by day. On february 14, if it weren’t Ash Wednesday, we’d be reading about the Saints of the Day-Cyril and Methodius–who gave the Slavic world, the Cyrillic alphabet, which became the language of the Slavic people. This language was used to teach the people the liturgy and the Gospel in their own tongue. Methoduis translated the Bible into Cyrillic.
“‘ …We pray Thee, Lord, give to us Thy servants, in all time of our life on earth, a mind forgetful of past ill-will, a pure conscience and sincere thoughts, and a heart to love our brethren: for the sake of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord and Only Savior.'” From the Coptic Liturgy of St. Cyril Page 35
A Communion of the Heart By Pamela Patnode, Illustrated By Austin Duncan (as a high school student), is a lovely child’s novel about a young girl’s desire to find out what is the right way to receive communion. She decides to write Pope Francis to ask him, “…I love Jesus and I want to make sure I receive Communion the right way.” It is an excellent book for a family to share, as an enjoyable story, when a child is going to receive their First Holy Communion. It is full of love and information.
Just Like Mary by Rosemary Gortler and Donna Piscitelli, Illustrated by Mimi Sternhagen is a beautiful small book for children about the life of Mary and her trust in God:
“We can wish for all the things
we think we need in life.
Or we can simply thank Him
for all that He has given us.
We can accept His way for us.
and trust in God’s love for us.
Just like Mary.”