"Remember Man that thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return."
Ash Wednesday marks the start of the Lenten season... a time of penance, fasting and atonement for our sins. We make small sacrifices throughout these 40 days to remind ourselves of the ultimate sacrifice Our Lord made of Himself on the cross.
I shall refrain from my usual rambling about the history of various Lenten practices. If you miss these tidbits of information, you are welcome to view last year's Ash Wednesday post.
I'm always grumbling about how lazy Catholics have become. Many only do what they feel they "have" to... just going through the motions and not putting any real effort or thought into what they are doing. We've become obsessed with ourselves and concern only on what we "get out of it". Faith isn't like that. Our practices, customs and Mass are supposed to be about worshiping and glorifying God -- not making it "all about me". If you're not "getting anything out of it", maybe you're not putting anything into it!
I did over hear a conversation recently that really made me laugh, and perfectly summed up the whole idea behind Lent. This conversation was between two women: "Ugh, Lent is almost here isn't it?" - "Yea, Ash Wednesday is this week." - "I hate Lent. What a pain in the ass." - "Oh yea... Jesus fasted and wandered the desert, stayed up all night alone in the garden, was beaten up and crucified for you. And you have to give up meat on Friday, fast a little and maybe give up something extra for a few weeks. Yea.. you poor baby."
That woman made my day! :-)
I found this above image while browsing the internet. The author wanted to remind people that Lent isn't just about giving something up for 40 days (ie: chocolate), but it's for giving ourselves up to God everyday, and remembering all His human body had to endure.. giving our frail bodies the inspiration to keep going!