Among my Catholic friends, practicing and not-so-much, we all remember Ash Wednesday as the beginning. It is the date that kick starts Lent; kind of like the Daytona 500 kick starts NASCAR. It’s really all about taking stock of our spiritual life.
“”Remember, man, that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return”. For those of you who are not Catholic we are not getting ashes of dead people on our foreheads. I have had some Baptists tell me that. I told them, yes, we are burning the non-Catholic babies. That seemed to scare them off. The ashes are from the blessed palms from Palm Sunday.
I know I don’t have to go to church today because it isn’t a Holy Day of Obligation, but I will. There is something personal in going and getting ashes in the sign of the cross on my forehead that make me take dedication and sacrifice to heart. It might only be for forty-six days but if I can do or not do something that long, or be dedicated continuously for forty-six days, then I can do anything.
As previously stated, I have “given up” the crack starting today. The crack being Pepsi. You have no idea how much I love real Pepsi. I also am dedicating myself to the St John Health Club going five times a week for some sort of physical workout. What that will be remains to be seen, but I’ve contacted Tyron and he’s ready to work me until I drop. That is exactly what motivates me. It’s my competitive spirit, don’t tell me I cannot do something. Or, frankly, if he tells me to do something physical I will attempt it without saying a word, and so far, I have done everything he has thrown at me. I am, needless to say, strong-willed. It comes from a long line of hard-headed, strong-willed people.
For me it’s about finding my own fullness that no-one can take away from me. It’s a constant journey that isn’t always so easy. For instance, I’ve been in a stagnant phase, and I hate it. But I’m using Ash Wednesday and Lent to give me the push to get off of my butt and get going.
It also means I can write my story from this point. I can add my language that says who I am and what I mean. I have to get up each morning and resolve myself to be happy for just that day. I do that day in and day out for forty-six days and then every morning will be bright. I have to set my own conditions and not let other’s circumstances set them for me. I can condition myself instead of being conditioned by other’s negative thoughts and words.
If I can just breathe in life, the nuttiness, the beauty, the wonder, and depth of it, then I will be fearless. I can be bullet-proof.
I read a quote once that I love and I will paraphrase it. “Light trumps dark every time. You can stick a candle into the dark, but you cannot stick dark into the light.
My hope is that I always show the light….even when I’m feeling dark…that I always remember the light, the way, the truth.
I’ve also committed to meditating and praying for thirty solid minutes each day. That doesn’t mean I won’t do it at other times as needed, but for thirty minutes I’m going to go still and listen and pray for each of you….and for myself.
So to all my fellow Catholics….good luck today with the fasting….I hope the next 46 days bring you love and peace and enlightenment.