Today Catholics all around the world are being reminded that our earthly bodies came from the dust of the earth and will return to the dust. Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. We, as Catholics will get the ash sign of the cross upon our foreheads, abstain from meat and fast. It is a day to be remained that we are truly nothing without our Lord. Our bodies here on earth are empty shells until the Lord God breathed into us true life.
Today is a reminder that we are mortals, that one day we will die and leave this place, we will return to the earth from which we were created. We are reminded, as Bob Dillon sang, that one day we will be blowing in the wind.
All very somber if you think about it, and Ash Wednesday would be somber if we left it at that, but than we would be missing the point. Yes we are to remember that we are dust and to dust we shall return, but we are also to remember that we are created in the image and likeness of God. Not a physical image but a spiritual one.
All of us, regardless of our faith or lack of it, have been given the gift of a soul, our spiritual likeness to God. This Soul does not die, nor does it blow in the wind. This soul will live on for all eternity, and will one day along with our glorified bodies live in the presence of God.
Ash Wednesday is the start of our journey towards Easter. It is the first day of our long walk to Calvary, during the forty days of Lent we are asked to carry our cross to bear our souls and to offer it up to our Lord Jesus the Christ.
Lent affords the opportunity to exercise our souls and to remind ourselves that the flesh is of no avail, that it is the flesh that is fallen, and it is the soul that lifts. Our first parents Sercombe to the desire of the flesh, they allowed the human condition to prevail. Christ Jesus offered up the flesh so that the soul of all humanity may prevail.
Today I am reminded that I am Ash, today I become the human sacrifice for our Lord in all the little deeds I perform. The earthly acts of obedience and the forsaking of the flesh, today I deprive the flesh to nourish the soul.
We are of fallen nature, we are week and discontent, we disobedient to the master and shallow in our attempts. But today offers us the opportunity to repent to start anew, today we are given the graces of sacrifice and of prayer, today we will make amends in the imperfect act of Lent. Today we are called to sacrifice, to offer ourselves up as the sacrificial lamb, blemished and broken as it is.
Lent is a time of renewal, a time to look deeply in to your soul and a time to change and grow. Allow this Lent to transform you… Here is wishing you all a very Happy Lent!