Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Beginnings

Did you get your ashes yet?

We did. I woke up this morning, showered, cleaned my face and hair, and less than an hour later, I stood in line to have my freshly-cleaned face marked with dirty ashes.

Though, really, it's more like the "fresh, clean" covering I've placed over my sins was brushed away, to reveal the brokenness, the dirt, the mess that lies within.

I like Ash Wednesday. I like the brutal honesty of it. We are all marked by our sins... and this is the one day when we don't try to hide it. We stand up, and stand out, marked for all to see.

This morning, we were sitting in our usual place, the front right pew in the church, which put us at the front of the line for ashes. The kids and I received our ashes from the Seminarian who is interning at our parish. He's someone we've gotten to know over the past few months and he is becoming a friend of the family. I look forward to watching him continue his path toward ordination.

He was nervous this morning. I could tell. Afterwards, I asked him if that had been his first time distributing ashes, and he said yes.

But, there was something particularly holy present in that moment. He blessed me with ashes first, and then hesitated. I brushed aside Princess' bangs so he could bless her. Then, LilBro. Finally, I lifted the mass of hair hanging over BigBro's forehead. It was a small moment, the group of us gathered in front of the first pew, not in any organized line, but clustered together. I felt the Presence of the Holy Spirit in that moment. I felt the blessing from God. And I prayed... I prayed for this Lent to touch my heart and my spirit, to shine light in my darkness and to lead me closer to Him than I have ever been... closer and deeper into the Light and the Love.

May your Ash Wednesday be as Spirit-filled and Blessed.

Pax Christi.

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