I wasn't going to do an Ash Wednesday post. Spiritual musings that follow a liturgical calendar nearly always feel forced to me -- much like those newspaper columns you see about Thanksgiving recipes and Christmas memories from years past. But as a lapsed Episcopalian (how the hell did I manage that?) the day still holds some pull. These days I am skeptical of any message coming from organized religion telling us to Feel More Guilt -- smacks of atonement theology to me. Still, I find the ritual of Ash Wednesday beautiful.
"From dust you came, and to dust you shall return," the priest intones, as he or she daubs each person's forehead with a cross of ashes (made from the remains of last year's Palm Sunday palms.)
I have always been moved by that honesty, that starkness. Whether devout Christian or atheist, death is one thing we can all agree on. We are going to die. Our time is limited.
We don't get a do-over. Our choices matter.
Whether or not you believe there is a life after this one, let's make what time we have count...
Of Gifts and Gaps
1 week ago