13 February 2013

Just dirt on your face unless. . .

Ash Wednesday 2013
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
St Dominic Church, NOLA

We are reminded of our mortality, that we will all die one day: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Do we need this reminder? Not really. If you have ever been sick, hungry, thirsty, or sleepy, you know that you are mortal. We are reminded of our mortality so that our hearts and minds are drawn from mortality to immortality. There is no point in being reminded that we are going to die if we are not also reminded of the possibility of eternal life, a possibility threatened by persistent disobedience, by sin: our choice to step away from God. So, hear Him say to you, “Return to me with your whole heart with fasting, and weeping, and mourning.” Return to Him with almsgiving, fasting, and prayer. Practice generosity b/c nothing you have and nothing you are is truly yours. Practice surrendering b/c you are wholly dependent on His loving-care. And pray, always pray b/c nothing given to you in grace is a gift until you receive it with gratitude. Wear ashes today as a sign of your repentance. Or wash them off in humility as you fast. Whatever you chose to do with the ashes, repent and return to the Lord with a contrite and humble heart. Without true repentance and humility, without joy, these ashes are just dirt smeared on your forehead. 

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1 comment:

  1. Wow. Nice. Just perfect for today. Thanks.