The Rev. Michael Bullock: Responds to ‘conflict’ about Ash Wednesday

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Responds to ‘conflict’ about Ash Wednesday

I have a Southern friend who on occasion would drawl that writing “letters to the editor” is a sure sign of the imminence of insanity. So it is with humbling trepidation that I write in response to “conflict” concerning Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday (“Conflict of Ash Wednesday falling on Valentine’s Day,” Feb. 13).

The coincidence of the two occasions strikes me as an opportunity to look deeper and more seriously (that is, in a less “conflicted” manner) into Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season it inaugurates. For instance, what if we viewed the imposition of ashes as our Valentine to the Holy One? What if we viewed Lent’s invitation as our work on presenting our hearts to God, in a manner of speaking asking God: “Will you be my Valentine?”

Yes, as the writer of the “conflict” letter points out, there are choices to be made, but can one’s “devotions” also include the most high? Would that not make all the difference for all our relationships, especially since God has already asked us (and consistently does so) the same question: “Will you be my Valentine?”

The Rev. Michael Bullock


The writer is priest-in-charge of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Easthampton.