ash wednesday

My standard "snark" line: today, we get to make ashes of ourselves....which, of course, we already are as the words are spoken: "Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return."

I sent out a lovely little book, "Mary Oliver: Poetry for Lent", to all the folks who have subscribed to the Newsletter associated with the website. Her reflection for today is on "unburdening."  Some might call it "simplifying." There are practical ways to do this which include cleaning out the closets, making the "good will" run, and modifying diet. So it is not an "up in the air" kind of thing, but one right down on the earth.

The more basic question seems to be, though, "What weighs me down? What is heavy in my life?" And the necessary question..."Why do I hold onto it?" One can ask these questions in a psycholgoical setting which offers a valid place to explore the possibilities. In addition, one can take them to prayer, whatever that terms means for each individual...but some sense of letting the questions sit there in the Presence of the Holy. In that context for myself, it becomes clear that I am created for something else, called to something else. In that awareness, my perspective changes from self-preoccupation and examination to wonder with an openness for the reality in front of me that discloses itself and calls forth a generosity of spirit.

Happy Ashing, then!

 

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Margaret Lois JansenComment