Admit it, you sang the song in your head when you read this caption.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, hearts worldwide are turned to love: puppy love, lost love, unrequited love, married love, and so on.
Not only is a vast majority of the world in the mood for love, LOVE is what this world desperately needs right now.
This words of this classic song “What The World Needs Now”, by Dionne Warwick is true today as it was in 1966.
However, a lot of us have a romantic, fairy-tale view of love, forgetting that love almost always involves some form of pain, suffering, and sacrifice.
This year, the themes of love and suffering combine beautifully, thanks to the collision of the start of Lent and Valentine’s Day.
It truly saddened me to see Catholics online and offline literally complain about Valentine’s Day’s collision with Ash Wednesday
The mental gymnastics that I am seeing a lot of them go through in order to justify indulging themselves and NOT fast or abstain is truly mind-boggling. Oh, how it must break our Lord’s heart.
Have we truly become THIS attached to pleasure?
Do we not understand that to love is to sacrifice, and that if we do not know how to truly love the Lord, our God, not only would we be unable to truly love our loved ones, but we would not be able to find true love either. You cannot find what you cannot recognize and you will not recognize true love if you do not practice the purest form of love and sacrifice – love for God.
In one of Fr. Ripperger’s talks on Generational Spirits, he mentioned that countries have demons attached to them.
Just as each country has a patron saint and guardian angel, each country also has a demon attached and God permits it so that we may work on the virtue that is opposite to the vice that the demon brings.
Guess what the demon of the USA is?
The demon of avarice. Look around you. Look at all the two-parent families vehemently justifying their decisions to have the mother go out and work, instead of making sacrifices, being frugal or making necessary changes, for the love of their children, and tell me that the demon of avarice is not at work in the US
Greed, materialism, indulgence and an unwillingness to make sacrifices are not just tearing apart families, but the US as a whole.
Th same greed and indulgence is the driving force behind the Catholics who find it incredibly inconvenient that Ash Wednesday falls on the same day as Valentine’s Day.
Why is this such a big deal??! Simply celebrate Valentine’s Day the weekend before or a few days before, and give Ash Wednesday to our Lord.
Love and Lent are not that different to each other.
Pain and pleasure, love and loss are really not that different to each other.
Anyone who has ever been in love will know that love is not always a big, red glowing heart.
Sometimes, love hurts. Sometimes. love is sacrifice, ashes and sometimes, love burns ferociously!
To truly love is to be willing to sacrifice and to burn.
We must remember this as we receive our ashes on our foreheads tomorrow.
Lent, which begins tomorrow, marks a period of fasting, penance, charity prayer, and sacrifice.
If we proclaim that we truly love God and our fellow man, we must be willing to sacrifice for Him.
This is the kind of love that the world, not just Catholics, needs right now.
A love that is willing to sacrifice pleasures and one’s needs for the good of others.
A love that is willing to burn and sacrifice.
Have a Holy Lent and God bless!
ad Jesum per Mariam