Five years ago we shared the following prayer that the English and Welsh bishops had published for Valentine's Day. It's worth transmitting again. We can pray it for other people if we are happily espoused ourselves. Prayer for those seeking a spouse Loving Father, You know that the deepest desire of my heart is to meet someone that I can share my life with. I trust in your loving plan for me and ask that I might meet soon the person that you have prepared for me. Through the power of your Holy Spirit, open my heart and mind so that I recognise my soulmate. Remove any obstacles that may be in the way of this happy encounter, so that I might find a new sense of wholeness, joy and peace. Give me the grace too, to know and accept, if you have another plan for my life. I surrender my past, present and future into the tender heart of your Son, Jesus, confident that my prayer will be heard and answered. AMEN.
The Valentine card at the head of the post was sent a century earlier, from a young man in Flanders’ fields to his ‘sweeetie’ in Manchester. They never married because he was killed in action; she went on to find happiness with another man, unlike two ladies I got to know in 1978. Miss M had been unhinged by her experience of loss, or so we were told; Miss P was a good friend to many nieces and nephews and added me to the list, making a beautiful quilt for our first baby’s pram; it’s now a family heirloom.
On this day for lovers, I cannot help thinking of those couples, married or hoping to marry, who are separated by the effects of covid on travel and meeting up. We all have to accept another plan for this period of our lives. And we can hold in our hearts all those who have died, and those who mourn them.
Let us surrender past, present and future into the tender heart of Jesus, confident that our prayer will be heard and answered.