fourth month’s blessing

There’s some uncertainty
about where the name April actually comes from.
There’s the Latin, aperire, to open,
with a certain spring appropriateness
what with all the buds and blooms opening.
Makes sense.

But in the tradition of months being identified with Roman gods,
April is also the month of Venus (or Aphrodite, in Greek),
and April 1 the date of her Veneralia,
the ancient Roman festival,
celebrating the goddess in her aspect as Venus Verticordia,
changer of hearts.

According to some of the story traditions,
Mars was the father of the first king of Rome, Romulus,
and Aphrodite was the mother of Aeneas,
one of Romulus’ ancestors.
Thus the original first two months
of the ancient Roman calendar
(March and April),
named and honored both the god-parents of Rome
and the story begun in one culture’s dominance (Greece’s),
continued in another’s (Rome’s).

So within your own living,
may this month open into new life—
into growth and possibility.
May love open you through this month,
and may you find that a heart open to change
and open to a story already begun—
a story you can choose whether or not to continue,
opens you more fully into your heritage
as a member of the family of God
and as child and heir of God.

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