Yesterday, Lent began.
We reflect on the 40 days that Jesus spent alone in the desert,
preparing privately through prayer and sacrifice for his upcoming
Passion and Death.
While Lent is the saddest time of the year, it can also be the most cleansing and purifying for us. For this reason, I look forward to it every year.
Last night, our little family attended evening mass at the church across the street and received ashes on our foreheads. As the priest smeared the black ashes with his thumb onto our foreheads, he said, "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
What a sad thought! Oh, how we need our Savior!
It was bittersweet to see the ashes go onto the forehead of our son Liam. We were excited for him to experience his first reception of blessed ashes, but it was strange to hear the priest remind him that one day his new little body will be old and worn and will become the dust of the earth.
It made me thank God again for the fact that we are eternal beings. Yes, our souls might temporarily lose this bodily flesh when we die, but our ultimate goal is Heaven; and, at the end of this world, God will glorify our earthly bodies and reunite them with each soul. Oh, how magnificent that will be!
Ash Wednesday marks the 2-year anniversary of Michael's proposal of marriage to me, at least on the liturgical calendar. On the regular calendar, we won't celebrate that until March 9th. :)
Here's a blurry photo of us with our ashes, at the conclusion of last night's mass.
I hope that your Lent is off to a reflective, purifying start. May it bear fruit for all of us!