Ashes and Chocolate


Chocolate and ash. Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday. An odd pairing, isn’t it? Inconvenient, actually. How do I celebrate Love’s Big Day with all the expected pomp of a fancy dinner, fine wine, exquisite desserts, and of course, chocolate, when Valentine’s Day happens to fall this day on the Church’s Big Day of penitence and abstention, Ash Wednesday?

Could there be a way of celebrating both days at once, and in so doing enrich the meaning of each celebration? Perhaps the question I should ask myself this Ash Wednesday is not so much, “What should I give up?” as “Who can I love in your name, Lord?”

I have explored these thoughts in a new piece I wrote for ESA, an organization that thrives in partnership with Eastern University, not as a typical “think” tank, but as a “do” tank whose purpose is to mobilize movements for constructive social change. I hope you’ll give it a read right here, and consider joining me on a 40-day dare to put love into action!



  1. Bags of Filth – This is the Day - […] all began with a dare. A 40-day Lenten dare to put love into action. It was my Ash Wednesday…

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