Saturday, February 13, 2016

From Anne Lamott, “Ashes”

“Ash Wednesday…is supposed to be about preparation, about consecration, about moving toward Easter, toward resurrection and renewal. It offers us a chance to break through the distractions that keep us from living the basic Easter message of love, of living in wonder rather than doubt. For some people, it is about fasting, to symbolize both solidarity with the hungry and the hunger for God…

The ashes remind us of the finality of death. Like the theologian said, death is God’s no to all human presumption… [In awaiting redemption and resurrection] how can we cooperate with grace? How can we open ourselves up to it? How can we till the field? And so people mark themselves with ashes to show that they trust in the alchemy God can work with those ashes–jogging us awake, moving us toward greater attention and openness and love.”