Lent is upon us..Again

Posted by Christine Nusse on Feb 8, 2005 | Categories: Seasons of the Spirit
Remember you are dust and to dust you will return

Distribution of Ashes

I hate to receive the ashes and vigorously wipe them off the minute I am out of church. However I do feel guilt and shame as I see the throngs boasting a large cross on their forehead throughout the whole day on Ash Wednesday.

Why is it that, as noted earlier in the Forum, the same ash adorned Christians were only a few weeks ago wishing “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas”? Is it more acceptable to flaunt Christian repentance than Christian rejoicing?

I do not like to think that I am dust and will return to dust. Even more this year when dust takes a special meaning: my Mother passed away last summer. Sometime erupts in my mind the image of her laying in a coffin, alone, cold, Mother yes, but without life, so not her anymore, and I feel as a wave of ice over me. Death and life are so close and yet so radically opposed. Why do I need to be reminded of it, and with such a literal symbol, dust?

Maybe Lent is the time to think hard about the ultimate realities. Where are we coming from? Why? Where are we going?

Is the cross of ashes a help or a hindrance?

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