Greetings from the Confidentia Shrine,
Yesterday we celebrated Valentine’s Day, in two days begins the season of Lent, followed by our monthly covenant day. What do all three have in common? All three focus on the last part of our year’s motto!
Saint Valentine is associated with courtly love and as an intercessor to turn to when seeking love. According to legend, Saint Valentine is said to have cut hearts from parchment, giving them to persecuted Christians. This custom may be a possible origin of the widespread use of hearts on St. Valentine’s Day. Since Valentine refused to sacrifice to pagan gods, he was imprisoned. His last paper heart, he gave to the blind daughter of the jailer signed with “Your Valentine.” As he was executed and surrendering his life for love of the true God, the girl received her sight back.
Lent is the prime season for Christians to focus on charity. The CCC tells us that charity “is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God” (1822). Jesus taught us the new commandment to love one another as he has loved us (see Jn 15:9,12). “Christ’s supreme sacrifice on the cross revealed what true love is all about: to make of oneself a gift to others.
The Apostle Paul has given us an incomparable depiction of charity: “Charity is patient and kind, charity is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Charity does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong but rejoices in the right. Charity bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. … If I . . . have not charity, I am nothing” (1Cor 13:1-13).
The person who exemplified charity most exquisitely is the Blessed Mother. We have made a covenant of love with her so she can purify our hearts from all selfish desires and to put order in our hearts and lives – as individuals, and as families. Her love can transform our hearts enabling them to be more generous in giving of ourselves. Let us unite then by renewing our covenant of love with her and asking her help to lead from the shrine … with charity to all!
With prayers for a fruitful Lent,
Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary