The Variegated Vision Digest

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Posts Tagged ‘Ash Wednesday

Ashes: Dying to Sin

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Several verses in the Holy Bible make reference to ash as a purifier, a sign of supplication, an act of repentance, a ritual of mourning. (Numb 19:9; 2 Sam 13:19; Esther 4:1,3; Job 42:6; Is 58:5; Jeremiah 6:26; Ezekiel 27:30; Dan 9:3; Jon 3:6; Matt 11:21/Luke 10:13; Heb 9:13, [also 1 Maccabees 3:47, 4:39]). Although the origin of Ash Wednesday is not exactly clear, besides references to baptism by water and fire, Church history records the concept of burnt offerings for serious sins and the practice of washing oneself then in the ashes of the burnt offering. This was sometimes referred to as “second baptism” and it is known that whole communities would sometimes fast in anticipation of first and second Baptisms. This to me seems to be a “praying with ” practice in support of those asking forgiveness.
So on Ash Wednesday, we are reminded of many things, but one important one is the prodding to and reminder that we can die to sin. Ash Wednesday is a special time to take our personal spiritual inventory and put forth the effort to begin anew, to make amends, to set right what is wrong. In the Christian calendar, THIS is the time for New Year’s Resolutions. Perhaps for that reason, though it is not a day of holy obligation for attending Mass, it is one of the most attended holy day masses. While we begin a time of mourning for the coming commemoration of the death of Jesus the Christ, we know too that He rose and we have reason to be in awe of God’s mercy.


Written by mollyjayne40

22 February 2012 at 18:55

As Lent Begins: God Loaned Me a Body

Your body is lent – on loan – to you. God created it uniquely and especially for you, to be a home to your spirit, the you that is of God, the you that God knew before you were even born. We are reminded of the body, it’s purpose and it’s place on Ash Wednesday.

Our body is both a home to our own spirit and to the Holy Spirit, the Love between God-Creator and Jesus-Savior. Do we care for our body as well as our home? And as a home, do we welcome and make our own spirit and God feel loved? Do we bear in mind that we take God into everything we do? Do we honor God with how we treat our body, what we listen to, what we look upon, how we nourish it, how we use it?

Our body is a gift to be cared for more than cared about. Our bodies should serve our spirit and more importantly God’s. Our body cannot do that if it is not cared for, nor if it is cared about too much, to the exclusion of that which is non-material – the essence of being, our very reason for existing – love.

Written by mollyjayne40

22 February 2012 at 18:53

Posted in Christian, Reflection

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