February 2019

Sometimes, early in February, the call of the mourning dove is heard. It seems to suggest a breath of spring entering a dreary winter scene, lifting the spirit to a more positive reflection on days to come.

Feb. 2 brings light. We celebrate the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. The elderly Anna and Simeon recognize the realization of their desires. Their eyes see the light of revelation. (Luke 2:29-32) On this day, also called Candlemas, candles are blessed and lighted.

Feb. 14 brings love. We observe a day named for St. Valentine – largely forgotten in the midst of the embroidery of flowers and candy. Still, from somewhere in history or legend, we celebrate the courage and love of a young couple and a Roman priest who defied the laws prohibiting a religious observance of marriage.

Martin Luther King Day in January brought the celebration of courage and dreams.  King had a dream, a dream of peace, of human respect and equality for his children and for all people. His life was violently taken, but the dreams have multiplied.

In February, we observe Black History Month and we have available our bishops’ new pastoral letter against racism: “Open wide our hearts: the enduring call to love,” (November 2018). In sections on the Native American experience, the African American experience and the Hispanic experience, we are invited once again to listen to the words of the prophet: to do justice, to love goodness and to walk humbly with our God. (Micah 6:8)

May the call of the mourning dove lift our hearts and spirits to light and love and courage.

Sharon Holland, IHM