Today is Ash Wednesday and my first full day back at work after spending time in Newfoundland with family  to grieve the death of my mother. At church this morning I applied ashes to foreheads, using the words; “Remember that you are dust, dust you shall return.” The words seemed a little more combrous than usual. Having participated in my mother’s funeral just a few days ago, I found today’s reminder of the one certainty in all of our lives, death, a little more in-my-face than usual. And I would like to say, that is OK!

We begin our journey towards Easter now. We enter into the wilderness season of Lent. We embrace the notion that introspection, penitence, contemplation, sacrifice, study, giving to others, can draw us closer to one another and closer to God. Perhaps this Ash Wednesday more than any other, I am grateful to know that I journey among a company of pilgrims whose witness, whose faith, whose love, whose brokenness and whose humanity are a loving reminder of the love of Jesus. 

I long-ago learn the difference between right and wrong. It was taught to me by many people, but primarily by my sweet mother. This Ash Wednesday I remember her. I remember that it was my mother who so long ago taught me to take ownership of my mistakes, to seek forgiveness when I harmed another, to show love to God and to love all people, to give as much as I can, to study and read scripture. Lent affords me the opportunity to draw closer to God. I begin this Lenten walk on this Ash Wednesday by acknowledging that God has created me as one who is beloved and I affirm the reality that it is to God that I shall one day return. 

God is so very aware of our thoughts, our prayers, our joys and our sorrows. Invite God into everything you do. 

“Nothing escapes the Lord’s notice. Indeed, even our hidden secrets are present to Him. So let us act in everything we do as if He were dwelling within us, so that we may be His temples and He may be our God within us.”  ~ IGNATIUS 
Have a blessed Lent