Ahhh, Ash Wednesday is here again... and so begins Lent. The 40 days of preparation for the Holy season of Easter. I am amazed by the opportunity I have each year to become a better person, draw closer to my Lord, and become the person He created me to be. This year I am really taking Lent seriously, not that I haven't in years past, but I always find myself at Easter Mass thinking that there was so much more that I could have done during Lent. So I am doing more than I have before to make the most of this time. So today, like all Ash Wednesdays of years past, I attended Mass. I went with the Williemas Munchkins, and we received our ashes. Here we are, all holy and ashy:
Notice anything about Brian and JP? No, really look... see it? Of course you don't, because what you are looking for is NOT THERE! This was right after Mass, and their ashes are already gone! Seeeeeee- I still had mine, but theirs were wiped clean... they swear that they didn't wipe them off, that they just rubbed off; but I had to SCRUB mine that night to get them off. So I have to wonder...
I have to retract an earlier statement I made earlier... "like all Ash Wednesdays of years past, I attended Mass..." to be completely honest there was ONE year I didn't attend Mass on Ash Wednesday. It's one of my mom's favorite stories to tell about me. It was 2000, the Jubilee Year, and I was in Rome during the first week of Lent! Amazing, I know! So I was there with my friend, Leslie, and we were having a wonderful time. It was my first trip out of the country, and my mom was a wreck. She says that she drew comfort and strength from the thought that it was Ash Wednesday, and that I would be receiving ashes at the Vatican, maybe even from John Paul, The Great himself. Well, I called her that night to tell her how things were, and she started going on and on about how wonderful it was for her to know that I had been getting ashes from the Pope, (maybe), and that she had been crying throughout the day thinking about it. Well, I HAD to tell her that we didn't! What kinda daughter would I have been if I hadn't? We did TRY to receive ashes that day, but it never worked out. We really tried, but it wasn't to be. To this day I regret that I missed Mass on that Ash Wednesday, especially every time she tells that story!! Thanks, Mom!
I've been really focusing on the 40 Days that Jesus spent in the desert, this Lent. Many of you know that I love the music of Matt Maher. He is an amazing Catholic artist who has just broken onto the Christian Music stations with a lot of success. His music is beautiful and speaks to my heart. He has a song called "40 Days" and it's about Jesus' time in the desert and ours as well. I found this little clip on You Tube, and wanted to share it with you. Not sure who did the pictures and slideshow, but they did a great job... pay attention to the numbers in the top left hand corner of each slide- they number the days in the desert. Here's a little "I Spy" game for you:
- find a snake
-find the flower
-find the cow skull
-find and apple
I loved the angels, and the fact that Satan chose to appear to Jesus looking like Jesus was very thought provoking.
I pray that you will have a blessed Lent, and that you may use this special time to grow closer to Our Lord and the Church.
P.S.- I will not be giving up Facebook, Twitter, or blogging for Lent. I know some of you thought that I had given up that last one on the list since I hadn't blogged in a little while. But, NOPE! Try not to be too disappointed...