Thursday, February 18, 2010

A smudge made me do it...

Many people, including (Catholics themselves,) have no idea why we walk around on Ash Wednesday with dirty black smudges on our foreheads.
First, it’s not a smudge! It’s supposed to be a cross drawn with ash. (However, some of the people administering the ashes are a little better artists than others.) Either way, it gets the job done.
Second, the ashes represent our mortality and are an outward sign of our sinfulness.
But why would anyone want to be reminded of this?
Perhaps because it’s true. We are indeed mortal – we are dust and from dust we shall return (Gen 3:19). We are sinful too. And in a world that constantly says “if it feels good, do it” and suggests that a guilty conscience is just one more thing we need a prescription for, we definitely need this healthy dose of reality...
Lent is a time to re-evaluate our lives. Yes, we are dust. Now do we spend our lives chasing more dust? Or are we chasing the one thing that can truly make an eternal difference? Are we chasing the one Being who can actually breathe life into dust?
For a people of dust, this is our only hope.

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