Putting Love into Action this Lenten Season

Putting Love into Action this Lenten Season

by Emily Kallmeyer '24, shared as a post-communion reflection on Ash Wednesday

Year after year, we are given stereotypical expectations at the beginning of every Lenten season. We are often told to think of materialistic things we can give up, like sweets, coffee, or soda. Or maybe it’s a bad habit we find ourselves slipping back into, like spending more and more time on our devices, gossiping, or some other oddly specific thing we like to fixate on to distract ourselves from the real world around us. While these sacrifices can be great, and possibly make you more grateful for what you gave up, sometimes your commitment to said sacrifice can begin to slip throughout the 40 days of Lent, making it difficult to stay focused on the true intention of why you gave up this thing.

As you all know, today is not just Ash Wednesday, but it is also Valentine’s Day. In my own humble opinion, I think our Merion community already does a wonderful job of showing our love and mercy to each other. Tying a ribbon in a classmate's hair on Mercy Day, helping a peer with math homework until you both truly understand it, or decorating friends' and teammates' lockers for birthdays and senior days. Or, smaller acts of love that go unseen, checking in with a friend who seems very stressed or putting in the extra work in a group project. However, there is always something else we can do, to improve the relationships and communities that mean something special to each and every one of us.

While most people use just Valentine's Day to show extra love to those around them, I would like to challenge each of you to extend the sharing of love and gratitude past just today. This Lent, let’s put love into action. What would it look like for you if you made your goal this Lent to perform one random act of love or kindness a week? A day? Think about how great it is to receive the gift of love from your family, friends, and peers. How great will it be to be the one giving that gift to others?

I read a quote recently, “Life became a lot better when I started sharing my love with as many people as possible.” It might be harder than giving up sweets, but you might just get more out of Lent if you challenge yourself to love. One way I am going to strive to put love into action this Lent is to look out for the people around me a little more. As we transition into the spring semester, my last semester with my senior classmates, as well as teammates and friends from other classes, checking in with peers more often and truly appreciating the new and old friendships I’ve created at the Spot We Love So Well.

“The Spot We Love So Well.” Love. It brings us together in the good times, and the bad. This Lent, let's appreciate all the time we get to spend together, in our loved, Merion community and live Mercy by truly putting love into action.