February 14, 2013-Thursday after Ash Wednesday
I can’t pass up the 14th without mentioning St. Valentine. How many Valentines were there? We don’t know that for sure. But…historians believe (historians are like “unnamed sources” in news) there were at least two of them, both martyred around 269. One legend has one of them who was a priest and a doctor who sent letters of love and encouragement to the early Christian community in Rome during the persecution. The other one may have been a bishop. Although this is the day for hearts and flowers (in the middle of Winter AND Lent)the Church dropped Valentine off of the official calendar in 1969…the same year we went to the moon…coincidence? Mmmmmm… I think St. Christopher took a powder around the same time while we were looking up to the heavens.
On another sad note, today is the 2 month remembrance of the Sandy Hook murders. That event is still stuck in our collective minds as horrendous and probably will always be a horrendous event in our history as a country.( You can check out my tribute video to the victims HERE on YouTube) Tuesday night, President Obama in his SOTU speech referenced Sandy Hook and all the victims of gun violence before and since. He was talking about gun control which in fact, is out of control. This will be an issue. Maybe we need to start with what the second amendment really means. Guns have evolved from the single loading muskets to military-style weapons of war. There must be some sense in all of this, don’t you think? Simple background checks at gun shows? It’s doable. The thought of the government coming to take our guns is ludicrous, so many are not even registered.
During these 46 days of Lent it is a good time to reflect, like in a SOTU speech on where we have come in the last year and where we want to go. Reflection and conversation are good things. As one of those Greek old guys said, “An unreflected life is not worth living.” History has a way of being forgotten quickly and then re-written to prove a point. History is history. It’s a done deal and we need to learn from those mistakes not to repeat the same mistakes. An example that jumps to mind is the “Sequester” which almost all of the Republicans voted for but now call “Obama’s Sequester” which at face value makes no sense. As John Boehner said after the vote of the sequester “I got 98% of what I wanted. I’m happy.” I don’t think he is a happy camper now. Blah blah blah… Any way, Valentine got the boot from the Religious Calendar, but we still remember him when we give cards and sweets to our sweetie today. So go out, do something extraordinary today…yes I know, you are ordinary, but you can do something extraordinary…so do it and by the way, do it in secret…it’s more fun that way.
As scripture (history) teaches us from Matthew 6
When you give alms,
do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
…and so it goes…