Today is Ash Wednesday. It is the beginning of forty days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving for many Christians around the world, of which I am one. It can be a time to “give up” something, though Father discouraged one child at the school mass from giving up water.
The children’s mass is always joyful, because we all know what Art Linkletter taught us…kids say the darndest things. There were a few laughs at this one, too. Our priest gave his homily about Cinderella. If ever a message was designed for children, this was one of those right up there. I wondered how long it took him to come up with the analogy, because it was an such excellent one. The story of a hard life among the ashes, finishing up with a “happily ever after” was compared to our own lives. We have our earthly struggles and our joys, and ultimately, we have the promise of heaven.
This morning I had the privilege of being among those distributing ashes to the students, staff, and families of my local parish school. Each pair of eyes looking up at me said, “Be an example of right living.”
That is my intent. A blessed and holy Lent to those of you who wish it to be so.
…And to dust you shall return.