Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday

I've been working on a piece of writing about one of my high school teachers and had planned to post it today, but have decided instead to talk about Ash Wednesday.

It isn't the tradition in my home church to observe Ash Wednesday with the imposition of ashes. In fact, none of the churches I have attended have ever observed that rite. I remember being a little jealous of my Catholic friends because they always came to school with ashes on Ash Wednesday.

So, it was really special for me to take part in the Ash Wednesday worship this morning and receive ashes. When Pastor Lynne put the sign of the cross on my forehead with the ashes of last years burnt palm branches, uttering the scripture "from dust you have come and to dust you will return" I was moved to think about the sacrifice of Jesus for me.

The sermon about Lent and what it should mean to us as Christians caused me to really focus on how much we have to praise God for, what it cost him to make recompense for our sins,how much I fail him each day. Pastor asked us to seek to correct an area in our lives where we know we fall short.

How easy to say; how difficult to do. First of all, to choose just one place is a dilemma for me as I know how often and much I fall short. But the first thing that came to my mind was my devotional life. That is a really easy one, or is it? It's easy to say, "Lord, I will spend more time in prayer and study." But to do it, that's the rub.
I've had these wonderful prayer beads that Gretchen and Heather made for me since November. My intention has been to center my devotional around the beads.

Well, that was my intention three months ago. Today, I plan, with God's help to try to be more faithful in my prayer time, to use these beautiful beads to focus more on the goodness and glory of God in my devotional time. I'll keep you posted.

Another thing Pastor Bob talked about this morning was the discipline of silence. Silence is such a hard thing to adhere to. He challenged us to, along with whatever discipline we adopt for Lent, to try to practice periods of silence. That challenge also caused me to be pensive. I am such a noisy soul. I wonder what a discipline of silence would do for me. Maybe, this Lenten season, I will find out.

Today's Word:

cacophony -harsh or discordant sound


Renie Burghardt said...

A thought provoking, beautiful post, Pam. Like you, I am a noisy soul as well. Practicing periods of silence will be a bit challenging for me, and fasting once a week during Lent will be a bit of a challenge as well, but I am commited to it.

Hugs and blessings!


Monogram Queen said...

from one noisy soul to another!
May God's peace and blessings descend upon you and yours Pam!

Tracy said...

Beautiful post. I recall my mom pulling me out of school to attend Mass on Ash Wednesdays, having to return to classes with ashes on my forehead. I felt so dumb when kids told me, "You have dirt on your face." lol
Your prayer beads are very pretty! I agree with you about silence being challenging. Whenever I take a moment to just be still - I feel the current of the day pushing, pushing, pushing - like nagging momentum.
Your word of the day is a good one - makes me think that "Cacophony Cami" would be a good nickname.

Nancy said...

Interesting does make one think! Being Catholic, I can relate to the ashes. I am more silent now than I ever was growing up...maybe it's because I work alone most of the time. But I have been a noisy soul in my better days.

Your prayer beads are lovely...almost like rosary beads. What a thoughtful gift!

((( HUGS )))

camport said...

I just left the longest comment ever and Blogger deleted it. GRR.

I've got a blog post brewing about some of the topics you discussed!


Cheryl Wray said...

I love Ash Wednesday!

Cheryl Wray said...

And, your plan for Lent is perfect. I'll be praying that you do well keeping your intentions. (I know how hard it is...I struggle in the same way every year.)

Laura said...

I loved this post, Pam! Are those rosary beads? I'm curious as to how you plan to use them in your devotional and prayer life.

P.S. I'm not Catholic.

Laura said...

P.S.S. I just remembered that one of the pictures that I haven't posted on my blog yet is of Alise on Ash Wednesday. She attended Mass at her school and it wasn't until I was giving her a bath that night that I noticed the ash mark on her forehead. Not being Catholic, it kinda rubbed me, but whatever, I guess. She attends a Catholic school! What could I do?