Tag Archives: Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday comes around again

Ashes line the grate after the great snow storm. Chill strikes down the chimney; a ghost stepping over the grave of last night’s fire. Ashes lift and shiver, settle and sigh, whisper to the warm wood tales of passion; eagerly, … Continue reading

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Ash Wednesday: grace is not in vain

Lent is a good discipline for me. The soul-searching, the self-denial, the study of God’s grace is something that I need constantly if I am to recognize the enormity, the ridiculous span and spread of God’s mercy.

But constantly is hard to do. Continue reading

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Dust

Between fire and the sky- cold stars trading embers, we are smoke: dust, ash, and air rising and falling

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Remembrance, repentance, and reconciliation

In Lent, we bury [the word of ululating praise] beneath our tongues, yet even in dust and ashes it is our song, tuning in to Christ’s love, our hope, the truth of God’s undying mercy. Continue reading

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Hope in the ashes

There is hope in cold ashes. We do not “do” Lent, we do not approach the fast as those who have no hope, or as though who fear the fire. For God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and … Continue reading

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Penitence

After William Wordsworth’s “Preface to Lyrical Ballads,” 1800 Recollected in tranquillity, passions burnt beyond their embers. Unguarded breath conjures dust devils, smoke without fire, echoes of disgrace remembered by the ashen light of dawn. Dignified in variegated gray, sifted, judiciously, … Continue reading

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Ashes and coaldust

Of all the symbols that we use in the Christian year, the ashes of Ash Wednesday might be at once the most unambiguous and the most strange. A wise colleague was recently heard to remark on the popularity of “ashes-to-go” … Continue reading

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Ash Wednesday

There is, on occasion, a disconnect between our words and our actions. We smile through gritted teeth as we make polite conversation with someone we do not like. We have profound and prolonged conversations about liberty and justice as we … Continue reading

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Burning

I’m sitting up tending a pot of palms as they slowly disintegrate into ash. Under the surface red and orange molten lava moves, shifting and sifting through the burnt and unburnt bits and branches, preparing their repentance for their part … Continue reading

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Juxtapositions

Last Wednesday, I told a score of people or more that they were going to die. “You are dust,” I reminded them, “and to dust you will return.” And I marked their faces with ash. In the line was my youngest … Continue reading

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