Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday

Although I do not hope to turn again
Although I do not hope
Although I do not hope to turn 

Wavering between the profit and the loss
In this brief transit where the dreams cross
The dreamcrossed twilight between birth and dying    TS Eliot


Today is Ash Wednesday
The beginning of Lent, a time of preparation leading toward Easter
It mirrors the time Jesus spent in the Wilderness before his public ministry.
Traditionally ashes are placed on peoples foreheads, as a sign of repentance,
marking the person as one who mourns his or her shortcomings, and wishes  to turn toward God

I grew up with a lot of Roman Catholic friends
They took Lent very seriously, we Presbyterians, not so much
I remember them "giving up" something for Lent
Chocolate.  Coke!  Cigarettes.  Alcohol.
 This "sacrifice" was, I guess, a sign of repentance and seriousness

I never quite got that.
I like to think about "doing"
What am I going to do for Lent... 
I mean think about relationships.
Do you prepare for marriage,
Do you seek to deepen a relationship, by depriving yourself of something?
But it seems more likely that I deepen my relationship by working on the relationship
by talking, listening, focusing, spending time....
by doing something that brings in to focus the one I love...

So I am going to do something for Lent
I am going to seek to deepen my relationship with God
by writing something, a card, an email, a note
to one person each day
Telling them why they are special to me, and to my God!
Because God is very present in the people around me!
What are you going to do!

(You are welcome to share in the "comments" section below :)


  1. Steve - Catholics are now encouraged to "do" something for Lent - to add something to their routines, or change a behavior - in order to come closer in relationship with God. Although, there are many who continue to "give up" something for Lent. Just thought you would like to know.
    I appreciate your challenge and think your Lenten
    "penance" is a great idea. I think I might join you.

  2. Thanks Valorie
    Yes, I knew that, I was just remembering the "old' days :) when the focus was more on "giving up"

    So far so good on my plan :)

    By the way, it has been great to have connected with you on facebook. Thanks for being "there" and part of my life! I appreciate your comments, always !!