Thursday, February 23, 2012

Amen, Amen
AshWednesday

An Ash Wednesday Prayer

"How often have I lived through these weeks without paying much attention to penance, fasting, and prayer? How often have I missed the spiritual fruits of the season without even being aware of it? But how can I ever really celebrate Easter without observing Lent? How can I rejoice fully in your Resurrection when I have avoided participating in your death?

Yes, Lord, I have to die - with you, through you, and in you - and thus become ready to recognize you when you appear to me in your Resurrection. There is so much in me that needs to die: false attachments, greed and anger, impatience and stinginess...I see clearly now how little I have died with you, really gone your way and been faithful to it.

O Lord, make this Lenten season different from the other ones. Let me find you again."



Free Us from Self-Fascination 

"Lord Almighty, we say we want to serve you, we say we want to help others less fortunate than ourselves, we say we want justice. But the truth is, we want power and status because we so desperately need to be loved. Free us from our self-fascination and the anxious activity it breeds, so that we might be what we say we want to be – loved by you and thus capable of unselfish service."

- Stanley M. Hauerwas, from Prayers Plainly Spoken

Lent

"In many cultures there is an ancient custom of giving a tenth of each year's income to some holy use. For Christians, to observe forty days of Lent is to do the same thing with roughly a tenth of each year's days. After being baptized by John in the River Jordan, Jesus went off alone into the wilderness where he spent forty days asking himself the question what it meant to be Jesus. During Lent, Christians are supposed to ask one way or another what it means to be themselves.

  •  If you had to bet everything you have on whether there is a God or whether there isn't, which side would get your money and why? 
  • When you look at your face in the mirror, what do you see in it that you most like and what do you see in it that you most deplore? 
  • If you had only one last message to leave to the handful of people who are most important to you, what would it be in twenty-five words or less? 
  • Of all the things you have done in your life, which is the one you would most like to undo? Which is the one that makes you happiest to remember? 
  • Is there any person in the world, or any cause, that, if circumstances called for it, you would be willing to die for? 
  • If this were your last day of your life, what would you do with it?

To hear yourself try to answer questions like these is to begin to hear something not only of who you are but of both what you are becoming and what you are failing to become. It can be a pretty depressing business all in all, but if sackcloth and ashes are at the start of it, something like Easter may be at the end."


2 comments:

Sonja said...

Thanks for sharing these... they sure give us something to think about.

Robin said...

Wow...that is an incredible photo! Great capture!