Ashes and Hope

This blog is going to be a real challenge.  I really don’t enjoy writing because it is so darn difficult for me and it takes me forever.  It is a very slow process and I’m not very patient.  And still, it is a practice I plan to practice more of.  Mom always says, “no master ever fell from heaven,” (Es ist noch kein Meister vom Himmel gefallen).  So here goes post #2.

Today marks the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday.  We begin our remembrance of Jesus’ 40 days in the desert where Satan tries to tempt him.   Lent is a time of repentance, prayer and charity to prepare our hearts for Easter, when we celebrate the risen Lord.

Today was a day of fasting, and for me that meant eating very simple foods: uncooked oatmeal, steamed sweet potatoes, rice and lentils.  The only seasoning used was salt (and a bay leaf). 

Teaching charity, the children and I ate our rice bowls in solidarity with the poor in our city and around the world.  Seppi proclaimed, “If I was poor I would love to eat this every day!”   Sometimes returning to the basics is really getting the best.


We attended Mass at St. Luke’s parish and the children were excited about being in a “fancy” church and getting the ashes put on their foreheads, “From ashes you were made and to ashes you shall return.”

The homily kept the giving up recommendation amazingliy simple: give up sin.  Yes, sin is harmful to us and minimizing sin cheapens God’s grace.  So this Lent, I want to be mindful that my sin is the reason Jesus came and died – it was God’s secret rescue plan!  Mindful, that He paid the ultimate price and that His grace is always going to be more than enough for me.  That gives me hope and the courage to ask my children forgiveness even moments after yelling at them, …again.

Jesus, no matter what happens today; I am splashing myself with hope. 

-from Untying Life’s Knots by Joseph F. Sica

At home, we lit the candle on our Lenten wreath and read the Lenten devotional we received at church.  Most Catholic churches have these booklets at their entrances and they are very helpful, especially if journeying through Lent is a new tradition for you.

I also like Ann Voskamp’s post about how failing Lent can actually help us succeed in getting Lent.  She has included a helpful booklist, too.

Click here to get the Lenten Calendar 2011.


About chefmomrd

Chef, Mom, Registered Dietitian
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