Thursday, March 17, 2011

My problem with Ash Wednesday

Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return - Genesis 3:19

Dear Saints in the making,

So we began our Lenten journey for 2011 last week with Ash Wednesday.Hope you guys are getting holier day by day through His grace.This is a time of exceptional grace.Talking about Ash-Wednesday,I have this strange trepidation towards Ash-Wednesday services since childhood,the reason I never seem to get anything resembling a cross on my forehead.I don't know what the priests have against me,over the years having attended Ash-Wednesday services in different parts of the country I never seem to get a cross on my forehead.It is usually something resembling an amoeba or the map of South America made from ash,but never a cross.And the tragedy is that all my friends and extended family attending the mass with me marked by the same priest get a perfect or a near-perfect cross,but I never seem to get one.(Hope this is not a sign from God ) This Ash-Wednesday was no different,but for a change I got a map of India,still not a cross.On a positive note,a map of India on the forehead is quite patriotic,don't u think

But I still look forward with anticipation to the Ash-Wednesday services,the reason  being the words the priest says while marking the foreheads - "Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return". Many times when faced with exceptional hurdles in life we have this natural tendency of asking,"Why God,why are you allowing this to happen ?" Don't we ? Like,why would a loving and kind God allow last weeks earthquake and tsunami in Japan ?  It is precisely this question that this verse from Genesis 3:19 answers.It reminds us about our own mortality.It reminds us that,nothing from this life of ours is permanent.Our successes,our failures and indeed our problems all have an expiry date.In short - ALL OF US WILL DIE.Quite profound and true,right ? Dearly beloved,lets be aware that our eternity is not on this earth.This life and all its troubles are merely a preparation for the eternity of peace that Christ promises to all His believers in His church.And it is this belief in eternity that gives us,the followers of Christ,the courage to face this life and all its seemingly never-ending troubles with a cheerful heart.Because,this is not our home.Heaven awaits us.

Be cheerfully optimistic in the Lord today.

Lenten Reflection

How can we complain when He Himself was considered 'as one struck by God and afflicted' ?   - St. Therese of Lisieux

Prayer Requests

1. Pray for the people of Japan,who are affected by one of the worst natural calamity of our times.
2. Pray that every Catholic makes a radical turn towards Christ and His church this Lent.


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