February is just about over, which theoretically means Heart Month is too. Of course, you shouldn’t stop thinking about the importance of your cardiovascular health, or for that matter, love. Isn’t it a shame that we “formally” celebrate love — one of the most treasured of all human emotions — only once a year on Valentine’s Day when people share heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and red roses?
Valentine’s Day is one of those occasions that you either love or hate depending on who you are and what your personal circumstances may be. And while it’s all well and good to take the time to acknowledge love on February 14th, shouldn’t it also be done on January 12th? Why not April 28th? Or maybe in the middle of the summer, say on July 29th? Well of course it should. The obvious point is that love should be celebrated every day. Perhaps not with a box of chocolates, but in a million other small ways. Or maybe even big ways, why not?
And while it’s all well and good to take the time to acknowledge love on February 14th, shouldn’t it also be done on January 12th? Why not April 28th? Or maybe in the middle of the summer, say on July 29th?
School is not traditionally the place to celebrate love, let alone acknowledge it. In fact, most schools go out of their way to avoid the subject; it’s certainly not part of their values or their mindset. Sacred Heart School of Halifax is not one of those schools. In fact, we incorporate love into our routines, language, celebrations, and daily life. Love is everywhere here.
That’s because, from a Christian perspective, our most powerful example of love is Jesus in the Gospels. His ministry was devoted to showing love and compassion to the most vulnerable and rejected people in society. He challenged the establishment and would often call out the hypocrisy of those who followed the letter of the law, but did not respond to the spirit of the law, which was rooted in love. We are a Catholic school welcoming families of all faiths which means that some of our students and families don’t follow the tenets of the Catholic religion or even one based on Christianity. Yet we firmly believe that what unites all of us is a foundation of love.
Love is on display at Sacred Heart School of Halifax in a million small ways. It’s present when we collect food, clothing, toys or other items for people in need in our communities. It’s here when we support a classmate or colleague through a difficult time. It reverberates in the songs we choose to sing at events and ceremonies. It’s at the forefront when we say a prayer for someone who needs it. It’s obvious when our teachers hug a student, or students hug one another. It is celebrated during liturgies and other formal ceremonies in which we encourage our students to consciously love one another. And, it also lives in our practice of espacio, a conscious moment of silence, in which we invite our students to consider their own wellness — mental, physical, and spiritual — which can be an important part of self-love.
So forget Valentine’s Day or even Heart Month, and do what we do — acknowledge, celebrate, and share love every day. It’s too good not to.