Today is ash wednesday and marks the beginning of the lenten period. Most of us know what that entails Christians, especially Catholics.

Saint Valentine died for love thus the Valentine’s day of February 14th.

Like lent, like Valentine’s day. The common denominator is LOVE. During lenten period, Christians are supposed to pray, fast, give alms in order to purify themselves in readiness for the greatest show of love ever – death and ressurrection of Christ. Christ loves us unconditionally and died for our sake. We are required to mortify our flesh in order to sanctify our souls to partake fully of this love.

The greatest love of all for us humans is self love for without loving ourselves first, we cannot love others. That is the love we express when we participate in lenten activities actively. The fast, prayers, alms giving are all means of achieving absolution and sanctification for our souls even though third parties might benefit therefrom too.

Both Jesus and St. Valentine died for others, show of LOVE. What do we ourselves do for others? How far are we willing to go to lend a helping hand to that childless widow selling by the roadside, to that child who roams the streets hawking away while her mates are in the classroom, to the truck pusher who always carries your goods for you in the market?

Sometimes only our smile can lift a dying spirit, our words of encouragement can transform a life, not to talk of financial assistance.
Would it not be better to visit an orphanage than a beer parlour or if you must, do both on that February 14th and beyond? Bearing the reason for the season in mind will help us act accordingly.

I deviated from what I set out to write initially and found myself here. I hope this makes a difference of some sorts.
Wishing us a fruitful lenten season.