Yesterday practicing Catholics everywhere celebrated Ash Wednesday.  I was lucky enough to attend mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Minnesota.  I really enjoy attending Mass in different communities because the sermon and people are always different.

This sermon, in particular, called out the meaning of why we wear the ashes on our forehead.  This is open to many interpretations, but during the mass, the Priest mentioned that lent is about repenting, prayer, and sharing our blessings with others.  40 days later, we come full circle again.

I left Mass thinking about his words….

A reminder that life is not linear.

I believe that ashes represent the transformation of our souls from mortal to immortal.  In this way, the ashes symbolize our return to earth and the renewal that follows.  Yes,  during our lifetime, our bodies age year by year.  However, I believe our souls remain pure, agnostic from our mortal sins and misbehaviors.  It is in death,  our souls find life.

Catalytic actions test the purity of the human spirit.

During the forty days of Lent, we honor our faith through sacrifice.  Whether it is as pedestrian as giving up your favorite ice cream, swearing or alcohol, it is not the sacrifice that counts but its symbolism.  The recognition of the omnipotence of God and His undying love for us.  It may only be an unconscious recognition for some of us, but the mere fact that we choose to put for the effort is a demonstration of our faith.   Deep thoughts aside, the potency of  our simple sacrifices reverberates in the health of the human spirit, despite its many maladies.

Gratitude blooms with the seed of sacrifice.

Mindfulness becomes more prevalent when we give something up.  Our focus shifts and our capacity to achieve is in its prime.  Personally, I believe in the power of prayer.  Lent is a period of personal challenge.  I don’t give up something physical, rather I push myself to face a weakness and develop it.  I recognize that some weaknesses are often disguises in laziness or procrastination, those are what I focus on.

It is my faith in God that pushes my character development.  My daily prayers asking for guidance in courage, humility and fortitude.  On a daily basis, I may fail in so many little ways and then I have a success, and the connection of that journey provides clarity of gratitude.  A reminder that I am not alone in my journey.

The second pair of footsteps.  The ash of the human spirit and God’s humbled, subtle presence inspiring us to rise to our challenges and resuscitate opportunity.

Music mood:  Hozier ” In a week”

Neurally yours,

your favorite flip flops xo