A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.

Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Prayers for Ash Wednesday

We've burned the fronds from last year's Palm Sunday to ash. We've filled up on Fat Tuesday's pancakes before we are shriven - confessed - and now it's time to prepare ourselves for the season of Lent.
               The word "Lent" comes from the Anglo-Saxon and essentially means "Spring" and "lengthen" as in the days lengthening in the Spring. Of course, in the Southern Hemisphere, the days are shortening so the perspective is slightly different.  However, we all observe the 40 days of Lent - although, Sundays are in Lent, rather than of Lent.  A picky detail but if you've ever counted the days from Ash Wednesday to Easter....more than 40 days because Sundays aren't actually counted as they are in other liturgical seasons.
               And now Lent is upon us ~ a time for reflection, repentance, and repair of our souls. Some of us will be marked on our foreheads this day with the sign of the cross in the palm ashes as an outward sign and inward recognition of our human mortality.  Some of us will enter into a period of dedicated fasting, prayer, and self-denial. Some will give up chocolate or cigarettes, some will take on daily meditation, some will begin in earnest and then fall away in distraction.  Whatever your mode, Lent begins...

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and help me find my way back to You. 
While I would like to show my good intentions by grand repentant gestures 
and pious activity, I'm not likely to stick with the discipline.  
Help me clean my heart and restore my soul in smaller ways such as 
being mindful of my thoughts, emotions, and actions while driving; 
let me try to be more patient in the grocery store line; 
give me the courage to step back and not have to be "right" once during each day; 
and mostly, Lord of all Peoples, on each day of this Holy Lent, 
let me understand and live into the words You have given us: 
"Forgive us our sins AS we forgive those who sin against us."  
Perhaps that could change us for the better. 
For all this we pray.    

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