Last Sunday was St Valentine’s Day and today (February 17) is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the church’s season of Lent.

St. Valentine’s Day is all about love; whilst the theme of Ash Wednesday is all about focusing on our faults and failings, and telling God that we are sorry for them.

It’s ironic that such contrasting themes fall so close together in the church calendar.

However, in a strange way it’s helpful because we are prompted to remember that so often our failure stems from our wrongful actions toward those we love.

We are reminded of this in the lyrics of the old pop song: ‘You always hurt the one you love, the one you shouldn't hurt at all’.

Sometimes we say foolish things on impulse; whilst there are occasions when we say things and do things purely to hurt others.

Whilst St. Valentine’s Day provided us with an opportunity to express our appreciation to those who love us and whom we love, Ash Wednesday prompts us to tell them we are sorry for letting them down so often.

At the same time let us also remember to say sorry to someone else we let down although he loves us so intensely: God our Father. Despite our weaknesses, he still goes on loving us, forgiving us and giving us a new start every day.

In gratitude, devotion and penitence let us fall in adoration before him and rededicate our lives to him.

This week’s thought: Love forgives a multitude of sins.