"Ashes, ashes"

For Christians around the world, today is the beginning of Lent marked by Ash Wednesday. Some people are inspired to give up beer or butterscotch in order to self-impose a holy discipline to greet Easter with a stronger heart and healthier soul.

My classmate, Father Byron Miller, is president of a leading national Catholic magazine called Liguorian. In a recent issue, he included a piece by Carole St. Laurent on the need to re-envision LOVE as "the key ingredient that our global family needs now more than ever." She concludes the article by creatively paraphrasing the words of the Apostle Paul when he wrote to the community called The Corinthians:

"If I get more retweets and likes than anyone, but my words lack love, it would be better if I never posted.

If I can predict the pandemic curve, sell millions of masks, and even create the best vaccine, but profit from others’ pain instead of prevent it, my net worth is the inverse of my human worth.

If I have enough faith to heal hundreds of COVID-19 patients, but am unmoved by love for them, I am nothing.

Love is everything.

Love is patient, love is kind, even when it has to stand in line.

Love is not jealous of those with the all-clear; it perseveres and self-quarantines until there's no virus to fear.

Love is not too proud to put on a mask; it would rather protect one vulnerable person than demand convenience for itself.

Love is not rude, its gentle answers calm down wrath; it soothes the souls of those whose nerves are just about shot.

Love doesn't hold grudges, rather it's quick to forgive; for those who love the most are the most aware of their own sin.

Love resists the temptation to forward fake news; it checks rumors, deletes insults, and only shares life-affirming truths.

When love is weary, it rests in Jesus’ strength; there it finds the faith, hope, and love to carry on, finding love the most strong.

My child, love on."

©Liguorian, 2021; authored by Carole St. Laurent; used with permission. For more information or to subscribe to Liguorian visit https://www.liguorian.org/subscribe-today/

If you are looking for some more inspiration, register for tonight's 30-minute zoominar called "Getting to the Heart of the Matter." Get more information or sign up by clicking here.