opening ourselves with the hinging daylight hours

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday seed starting

All the Sacred Heart community invites you to CRY JUSTICE CRY HOPE!!!!

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. It is 40 days before EASTER, meaning it is connected to the lunar cycle, and is always on a Wednesday. Many christians practice getting Ashes on their head as a symbol of remembering our HUManity and coming from the clay. Every Lent the Sacred Heart community shares some of their journey together. This year we are reading from Joan Chittister's Cry Justice Cry Hope.

Lent is a time of contemplation. The fulfillment of winter's meditation coming into springtime. Ash Wednesday is a nice time to see a lot of different people that you have never seen before receiving Ashes on their foreheads. The firemen come, and people keep walking in for contemplation and ashes from 8:15 AM until the end of the 7:30PM Mass. Father Michael's homily talked about seeds tonight and the hope that we carry into Lent within the planting and the waiting.

During Lent we are to contemplate our right relationship with all the Earth through the fullness of holistic interconnectivity of joy and sorrow. The Ashes mark us as sacred and from the soil. Lent is the time of fasting and Friday night soup nights.... We planted the Russian Red Kale seeds today, and heirloom that came from Seed Savers Exchange.

These were some of the prayers that i have come across today. i hope if you are of different faith traditions you will see our inter-connectedness coming from the same earth. Know that in this space of soil and saints you will never be judged but embraced like the bio-diversity that helps the garden to flourish. us and the rest of creation up from dust living as peace-makers and justice seekers...

Is this the manner of fasting i wish, of keeping a day of penance? That a man bow his head like a reed, and lie in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call this fast acceptable to our Creator? This rather is the fasting that i wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke, setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke:

SHARE YOUR BREAD WITH THE HUNGRY, SHELTERING THE OPPRESSED AND THE HOMELESS: CLOTHING THE NAKED WHEN YOU SEE THEM, AND NOT TURNING YOUR BACK ON YOUR OWN. Then you shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall be quickly healed: your vindication shall go before you and the glory of the Creator will answer. You shall cry for help and Creator will say:
Isaiah 58:5-10

Let us pray:

Merciful God, you called us forth from the dust of the earth:

You claimed us for Christ in the waters of baptism. Look upon us as we enter these Forty Days bearing the mark of ashes and bless our journey through the desert of Lent to the font of rebirth. May our fasting be hunger for justice: our alms, a making of peace: our prayer, the chant of humble and grateful hearts. amen.

"Shot Through THE Heart" 450 pound Ice Sculpture by HumanKind Design

or as my friend SarahV says -ashes are the representation of mourning (sackcloth and ashes and all that). And it's connected with repentance and turning. It is, to some extent, the flip side of Advent, which anticipates a birth. Lent anticipates death, but it also anticipates resurrection. This is, perhaps, why Lent is derived from the Teutonic word for springtime--because it's not simply death and mourning. It's also about rebirth.
As for repentance, we have a lot to repent for. Take "we" as you will: humanity, the Church (both big and small c's), this country, whatever. But right now, here's what I have to say: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better," Samuel Beckett.


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