Ash Wednesday

I woke up this morning remembering it was Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.  It has been quite a long time since I visited a Catholic Church for a Mass.  Other than attending weddings or funerals I have not felt a need or pull to go. But for some reason this morning I felt very guided that I was supposed to go.  Although the weather was less than welcoming I decided to walk to church.  I could use the fresh air and it was only about a 20 minute trek.  As I walked, I began to remember how my brother and I used to walk to church together as children.  Funny, I had not thought about that for a long time.  My brother passed almost two years ago and memories of he and I as children have come up at the oddest times.  Before I knew I was walking into church and surprised by how full it was.  I found a seat and sat down.  The old rituals of being there countless times returned to me as if I had just been there yesterday and when it was my turn I went up and got ashes on my forehead.  “Ashes to ashes”, the priest said and with all I have experienced in the past few years these words took on a powerful meaning.
An elderly priest took the pulpit and read the gospel.  After that he began his sermon and to be honest I was prepared to be bored.  After all it was the first day of Lent and I was sure I was going to hear about all of our sins, repentance, and the denial we should live by for the next 40 days. But instead as he spoke I realized this was why I was here.  To hear this sermon.  When he finished he told us it would be available for us to take along and I am sharing it here with you.  I feel it is significant for so many reasons.  I trust you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Lenten Opportunity

Fast from judging others; Feast on Christ dwelling in them.

Fast from differences; Feast on the unity of all life.

Fast from living in the dark; Feast on the reality of the Light.

Fast from thoughts of sickness; Feast on the healing power of God.

Fast from words that pollute; Feast on the phrases that purify.

Fast from discontent; feast on patience.

Fast from pessimism; Feast on optimism.

Fast from worry; Feast on God’s providence.

Fast from complaining; Feast on appreciation.

Fast from negativity; Feast on the positive.

Fast from stress; Feast on prayer.

Fast from hostility; Feast on cooperation.

Fast from self-concern. Feast on compassion.

Fast from anxiety; Feast on eternal truth.

Fast from discouragement; Feast on hope.

Fast from depression; Feast on delight.

Fast from laziness; Feast on enthusiasm.

Fast from suspicion; Feast on trust.

Fast from weakness; Feast on inspiration.

Fast from sorrow; Feast on contentment.

Fast from gossip; Feast on complimenting.

Fast form overwhelming problems; Feast on the Spirit.

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