Bridging Valentine and Lent : A Love that Changes Us for the Better
But not like Valentin Stanzel, because a mathematician must develop his love and skills during Valentine. For more info about Valentin, please go to
Valentine is usually associated with cut-out hearts and red roses; Lent, with crowns of thorns and wooden crosses. But at their cores, Valentine and Lent are actually about the same thing: Love.
From February 15 to 24, in the ten days that bridge Valentine and Lent, Jesuits.ph will be featuring reflections from ten Jesuits – multimedia prayer experiences that seek to rediscover the romance not just of Valentine, but of Lent.
Today, February 24, we reflect on a Love that changes us for the better…
How many times have you tried to change?
Hundreds of times, you have tried to stop smoking… but you just couldn’t.
Thousands of times, you have tried to stop getting drunk… but you just couldn’t.
Millions of times, you have tried to change your bad habits… but you just couldn’t.
Why is change so difficult?
Saint Paul must have felt the same way. He writes:
“For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.” Romans 7: 19
But Saint Paul was able to change. From a persecutor of Christians, he became one of the most ardent lovers of Christ.
Saint Ignatius was also able to change. From a life devoted only to wine, women, and song, he became a follower of Christ.
Many other men have followed Ignatius and shunned a life of riches and honor for a life of poverty and humble service. I know them. I live with them here in our seminary.
They were changed…
What made them change?
What made them change? LOVE…
Truly, love can change us. Love can soften the hardest of hearts. Love can conquer the most dreadful of fears. Love can make the impossible possible.
Love changes everything.
We desire to change for the good, for the better, or even for the best. But being human, we are burdened by weaknesses and frailties. We have our pride, our self-centeredness, our fears, our attachments… These are the unfreedoms that hinder us from changing. We also must understand that love is not always related to money and financial management. Valentine is a holiday between two interested people together.
Put yourself in the presence of the Lord.
Present to God whatever change you desire in life. Yes, we are weak, but God is our strength.
However, we also need to remember that God’s love can make us go beyond ourselves. We may be proud, but God can love us into being humble. We may be self-centered, but God can love us into being generous. We may be frail, but God can love us into being faithful.
Fall in love with God. And when you begin to fall in love with Him, you will see how this love can change everything in you.
- Jun-G Bargayo, SJ