Ash Wednesday: A Reminder of Our Mortality

This is the official first day of Lent, which is a time of reflection, discipline, and repentance forty days before Easter Sunday. This time also represents the 40 days that Jesus went into the desert after his baptism and fasted. According to The Book of Common Prayer, which is used in the Episcopal Church, Lent is considered a time to pray, fast, and meditate on God’s holy word.

As a child, I was encouraged to give something up for Lent. It could be a bad habit, like getting too easily angered by my pesky little brother, or it could be a food I particularly liked, such as dessert. As I’ve gotten older, I have sometimes added an activity instead of subtracting something from my life. I might add a daily walk so that I can get out in nature or else add a meditative reading each day to keep myself tuned into the nature of this church season. I think doing anything that reduces the “noise” in one’s life is a good way to go.

I haven’t decided yet what my Lenten practice will be, but I guess my first action has been to go to Mass today and receive the sign of the cross in ashes on my forehead. I am also writing about the importance to me of a Lenten practice, which is also a positive step. So, I will consider this a successful Day One. Maybe by tomorrow, I’ll have some clarity about what might be the right practice for the 39 remaining days.

I appreciate the opportunity to slow down and reflect. Whatever helps me to do that will be my goal for Lent 2023.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. lindawis says:

    Yes, slow down and reflect is a great goal. Harder for me than giving up sweets!

    1. Me, too, Linda. I’m working on it!

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