It is February, and we associate this month with love and, since we are in the second year of our OCSB Spiritual Theme, “Love Kindness and Mercy,” I will look at ways to experience and celebrate loving-kindness and mercy with your families.
In February, we recognize Black History Month, celebrate Valentine’s Day, raise awareness about anti-bullying with Pink Shirt Day and, importantly, as Catholics, we enter into the Lenten season. In Lent, we are called to become better versions of ourselves through acts of charity and service or by giving up the things that tempt us.
This post is about celebrating love, kindness, and mercy with all the individual members of your family. So I ask, why not use the month of February to emphasize some ways in which we can show love, kindness, and mercy? To provide some guidance, I have put together five suggestions to love kindness and mercy with your family.
Have a Lenten Project – select a charity, initiative and/or organization that your family could support as a volunteer or by collecting donations for their specific needs. Examples could include your local food bank, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Development and Peace, Chalice, and Shepherds of Good Hope, for example. Acts of service and charity are acts of mercy.
Raise Awareness about Anti-Bullying – February 26th is Pink Shirt Day. On this day, wearing pink is encouraged to raise awareness and provide support and education about anti-bullying. To be kind and respectful of one another is to celebrate our uniqueness as a gift from God.
Valentine’s Day Experience – Valentine’s Day is a day to give and receive cards, flowers, and candy. These are all very nice things indeed! It can also be an excellent opportunity to enjoy some quality time together. You could go skating, go for a walk, or play in the snow. And for those who prefer to be inside, you could play games or read the story of St. Valentine — you might be surprised by who Valentine was!
Learn About Things you Didn’t Know About as a Family – February is Black History Month. The OCSB has created a variety of resources about the contributions of many Canadian and global black historical figures. As well, Black History Ottawa has a series of events this month, which are on their website, www.blackhistoryottawa.weebly.com. Knowledge and understanding promote love and kindness between all people.
Write Cards and Letters to Canadian Soldiers and Veterans – A thoughtful and caring way to show love and kindness is to write cards and letters to our soldiers and veterans. These brave people make sacrifices for all of us so we can live in peace. As a family, you can make cards and write letters to our soldiers and veterans. You can find details of the letter-writing campaign at www.canada.ca.
These are just a few ideas and suggestions for your family to show love, kindness and mercy in February and all year round.