Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ash Wednesday

Dear Friends,

     To begin our Lenten journey, I offer a beautiful prayer called, The Echo of Ashes by Joyce Rupp from her book, Out of the Ordinary.  Her words remind us of the walk in the desert of Lent, the walk with deeper prayer, and listening for God.  May we be blessed with wisdom and the compassion of our Lord as we walk together towards Easter.  Trust that your journey will allow your story to unfold beautifully.  Trust that your story matters in the lives of others.

Wishing you many blessings of light and love,

The Echo of Ashes

"Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return."

the large brown bowl
rests on a purple cloth
its roundness holding ashes freshly burned
black and ready for wearing.

blackened thumbs
press the ancient sign
upon waiting foreheads.

I hear the message repeated
until it haunts and hunts me down:
remember, remember, remember
you are dust, dust, only dust
someday only dust will remain.

the echo of the Lent-stained ashes
speaks the truth of my humanity;
the humbleness of my beginning,
the simplicity of my departure.

A few wise words
echoing through Ash Wednesday
urge me to deeper things:
renewed dedication,
constant compassion,
and mindful awareness.

I leave marveling
at how simple and sublime
is this envelope of the soul,
which one day returns
to dust, dust, only dust.
-Joyce Rupp

Taken from Out of the Ordinary Copyright 2000, 2010 by Joyce Rupp, pg. 98. Used by permission of Ave Maria Press.  All rights reserved.