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Feb 14, 2024 672 Emily Shaw, Australia
Lenten reflections

Happy VaLENTines Day

This year, Ash Wednesday falls on February 14th—the day synonymous with roses, chocolates, and romance. However, it is important we recognise that Saint Valentine was not concerned so much with romantic love but true love.
True love is an act of self-sacrifice and self-surrender for the good of the other. This year we are reminded, in the most obvious of ways, that love is not love if it is selfish, and that the greatest love of all was shown on Calvary over two millennia ago.
This is a time to ask ourselves: am I loving others as I should? Is my love one of self-sacrifice, or one of self-interest? Am I daily laying down my life for my friends—loving them as Christ loves me?
Perhaps the seemingly unlikely pairing of Valentine’s day and Ash Wednesday is actually a masterful brushstroke—a Valentine’s gift that represents the greatest love as the only enduring love story. A true love which encourages us to follow in His footsteps, to love until it hurts, to empty ourselves and allow Christ’s light to fill us, to be willing to shoulder our crosses, and carry them not just in Lent, but every single day, in cheerful and loving obedience.

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Emily Shaw

Emily Shaw is a former Australasian Catholic Press Association award-winning editor turned blogger for australiancatholicmums.com and is a contributor to Catholic-Link. A wife and mother of seven, she resides on a farm in rural Australia and enjoys the spiritual support of her local catholic community.

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