Mission Minute Monday 2/14


“Mission Minute Monday” with Maureen Day, Ph.D.- Assistant Professor of Religion and Society at the Franciscan School of Theology Dr. Day shares a reflection on love with us.

Lots of Catholic posts today are going to be celebrating the feast of St. Valentine, sifting through various historical facts and hagiography to bring you a particular iteration of the saint’s story. Be forewarned: this is not one of these! Instead, today’s reflection on love is going to be rooted much more in the ordinary: elementary school Valentine’s Day parties.
I remember them distinctly, and yet they hold important things in common. In early February our teacher reminded us (but I don’t think we needed it) that we couldn’t bring any Valentines for anyone unless we brought one for everyone. I remember combing over the 30-pack selections of Valentine’s cards—Berenstain Bears, Garfield, Peanuts—to determine which could best express my 3rd-grade affection to my friends.

I remember the tiny hearts that I’d slip three of into each envelope (four if we were close friends… and I’d hand choose the hearts if it was for the boy I had a crush on… the tiny red text actually matters then!). The Friday before Valentine’s we’d decorate shoeboxes for our cards; red and pink construction paper adorned the sacred box that would hold the love we’d be showered in. And then when the day came it was so fun to deliver and read over all the Valentines. With sugar coursing through our veins and lollypop-pink residue on our mouths, we beamed thankful smiles to one another.

It reminds me of St. Francis. He trusted that God would lavish love over all of creation. No one is without a card, every decorated shoebox is overflowing. After all, God loves us into being, so how could we ever be forgotten? And the only reasonable response to this infinite affection is a beaming, grateful smile. And once we truly realize the gift we’ve been so freely given, why wouldn’t we also freely share this with others? It is a lesson that kindergarteners across the country will enjoy today… let’s join them!

May you be blessed with abundant love—given and received—on this grace-filled day!

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