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“Anois teacht an Earraigh”: so begins that wonderfully hopeful poem written by the wandering musician and eventually blind poet, Raifteirí .In the poem, he speaks about the coming of Spring with the Feast of St.Brigid. He will once again wander the countryside of Mayo with his heart full of hope. February this year is full of Feast Days: St. Brigid’s Day, Candlemas, St. Blaise and St. Valentine’s Day. There has been much talk about the co-incidence of Ash Wednesday and St. Valentine’s Day: how are we poor deprived Catholics going to manage ourselves as we will be pulled apart by the clash between celebration and sacrifice?
As Christians, we honour the sacrificial love that Christ showed us in his suffering and death, a sacrifice that the martyr St. Valentine also made. It is good to remember those whom we love and cherish on St. Valentine’s Day, a list that includes our family and our friends. Ash Wednesday remind us of God’s love, a love shown by the sending of His Son to us to redeem us. God loves and delights in all of us at all times and seasons of our lives. It is our task to bring this love to our family, friends and colleagues every day, not just on the over-commercialised day that is February 14th.
“Love is his word, Love is his way “

Elizabeth Murphy

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