Remember That You Are Dust, And To Dust You Shall Return

 

Traditionally, Ash Wednesday and Lent are associated with Catholicism, but that no longer holds true. More Christians are taking advantage of the “forty days” (it’s really 46) today prepare for Easter.

Lent is a time to fast, pray, give alms. Many Catholics will give something up. Sweets, alcohol, meat, cursing, something that is supposed to be sacrificial and difficult. We perform acts of penance, and frequently take part in public prayer, such as the Stations of the Cross, which most parishes will have weekly, often before a Lenten meal.

All this is meant to spiritually lead us into the desert, to prepare us to really be able to celebrate on Easter Sunday with a cleansed heart, open totally to Jesus in the Resurrection. It should also open us to our fellow men on this journey, particularly those in need.

If you have never thought much about Ash Wednesday and Lent, I invite you to consider making it a part of your life for the next six weeks. It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself as a Christian.

Should you wish to participate in an Ash Wednesday service, you do not have to be Catholic. You will be welcome at any parish, and you can receive the ashes. As the priest, deacon, or perhaps layperson makes the cross on your forehead they will say “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return” or “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”

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116 Responses to Remember That You Are Dust, And To Dust You Shall Return

  1. Kevin Rendon says:

    thank you for this reminder!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. The240report says:

    My relationship with God is between God and I.

    Like

    • True as it is with every man, woman and child. But as professed Christians we are being watched by those who aren’t and we are to be an example.
      I fail at this daily, sometimes hourly.
      I appreciate SD giving me insight about lent. Never knew. Sounds like it’s something to bring you closer to the one that created all. That’s never a bad thing.

      Liked by 15 people

    • Menagerie says:

      Let me state again, as I did yesterday, this post is not for everyone. It is not intended for Catholics only, nor to promote Catholicism, but to encourage Christians to better prepare for Easter.

      If you do not agree, or have something against Catholicism, pass by this post. If you chose to make insulting or argumentative comments I will black list you, and you will lose your posting privileges.

      There is no need for you to attack people who chose to comment here, and share.

      Liked by 24 people

      • Menagerie says:

        N addition, this post is not a forum for apologetics or debate. There are many online sites where you can make your views known and argue about religious truths.

        If you specifically wish to address me, hen send an email.

        Liked by 15 people

        • Dekester says:

          Thank you Menagerie,

          We never grew up in a church, we were however baptized and Christened, but that was about it.

          This site and its many fine posters have awakened my interest in Christianity.

          IMO your President, a man that was derided by many Republicans has done more for Christianity than any of them.

          I will never forget the Black minister in the Detroit area church presenting him with a prayer shawl, it was beautiful and sincere.

          Thank you.

          Liked by 7 people

          • ladypenquin says:

            Dekster, your words are true. I’ve seen more faith exhibited from THIS White House than any other in my lifetime. I remember the prayer shawl – extraordinary, and those men of God certainly wanted Donald Trump enfolded in God’s embrace.

            Easter brings us renewal and restoration, I see a parallel for America.

            Menagerie’s post is a helpful reminder which I appreciate. Especially in these difficult times when our country can choose one path or the other. Praying we have the strength for the right path.

            Liked by 2 people

        • clove66 says:

          Menagerie,
          I am a Lutheran-raised, newly-minted Catholic (5 years this Easter). it brings such deep meaning to my life and I love that you share these posts of the liturgical year. I love this website as well. It’s real news with meat on it. I come here when I need my sanity checks in the midst of all the bad news. Thank you for all you do and for not letting the haters spread their hate. I love the comments of other Treepers almost as much as your original posts. It gives me hope for humanity.
          God bless and I hope you have a reflective and fulfilling Lenten season.
          Cynthia 🙂

          Liked by 6 people

      • Nan says:

        There is something about the mere mention of Catholicism that makes some people cranky. Why, I’ve never known; we tend not to be pushy about things, and of course anybody would be welcome at any Mass.

        In addition to Ash Wednesday, if anybody is looking at more spiritual engagement/understanding during this period, I’d also say that coming to a Good Friday service would be wonderful as well. We read the Passion, usually in a darkened church, and it’s always resonated with me, even when I was a little girl.

        (Please delete this if it’s not appropriate. But I have to say, talking about Catholicism on the Internet is inevitably going to garner some responses like the one above.)

        Liked by 4 people

        • donnajeanz says:

          I was born and reared into a very Catholic family. I love being a Pre-Vatican II Catholic. Because of all the hate of our Church, I purposely boast, in a strong voice of being a Catholic. No one ever opens their mouth to condemn me. I am so grateful for my awesome parents. We started praying the Rosary ever night for the conversion of Russia, this is how we girls fell asleep at night. The Rosary was on the radio, in the 40’s. This continued till we were in our teens. By then we knelt in front of the fireplace and prayed as a family. I thank God for my faith and pray all during the day for my children, grandson and 3 great grandchildren. God always answers my prayers in His own time and in the way He sees best for me and my family. Always praying for our President and his family. God Bless us all as we MAGA !!! God’s will be done in all our lives. I love Sundance and CTH…by the way, my parents lived into their 90’s, Thank you Father, Son and Holy Spirit…I am truly blessed and grateful for being alive at this time in our beloved USA !!!

          Liked by 7 people

        • max says:

          For about 10 years, my family has ushered for Easter Vigil, the very long mass on Holy Saturday evening. It is a beautiful Mass, and is usually the one where new members are welcomed to the Church. We start outside, and process into the darkened church. Catholics should try it, and aside from Communion, any others would be welcome as well.

          Liked by 1 person

      • mdaush says:

        Thanks…it was a timely and good reminder.

        Like

      • I apologize if my response to The240Report was not appropriate. My small branch here is an island in the ocean of lies and deceit from all who target our country. If you blacklist me my heart would be truly broken.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Ethel Weiss says:

      between God and ME…learn English

      Liked by 1 person

  3. kinthenorthwest says:

    Menagerie beautifully written…Although not or never been a Catholic, they did a lot for me as a very young adult. Been to two Ash Wednesdays, so I do seem to think about the time leading up to Easter Sunday when I realize that is getting close.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. calbear84 says:

    Beautiful. Thank you Menagerie! Purification and enlightenment. Amen.

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Mike says:

    Just finished my buzzer-beating double Whataburger w/ bacon. Ready for the start of lent!

    Thanks for the very nice writeups Menagerie.

    with respect 240 i don’t think that’s correct. the church is many parts but one body. Nothing you can do to change that reality.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dust and ashes.
    Repentence.
    Returning.
    Renewal.
    Yes.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Luke from NJ says:

    A Blessed and Fruitful Lent to all Treepers preparing for Easter. Time to focus on Christ and set aside all our distractions that cloud our vision.

    Liked by 10 people

  8. kate says:

    Thank you for reminding us to remember God and why we are put here in this life.
    MAGA

    Liked by 6 people

  9. CM in TN says:

    Looking forward to attending Ash Wednesday services this evening with my wife. We are United Methodists, but our church celebrates it too. We will also have choir practice tonight to prepare for Sunday service and to prepare for our Easter Cantata. May the Lord Bless you all this day!

    Liked by 6 people

  10. A2 says:

    A timely post. Time for reflection. In my village in China, the local Catholic church, under increasing pressure from the government to be a ‘state approved’ religion, has quietly painted its railings and the small church to prepare for Lent. To the glory of our Lord, and to welcome those who wish to be part of the mystery of the resurrection and redemption.

    Liked by 22 people

    • Menagerie says:

      You, and all the faithful under such oppression, are in my prayers. I will make it an extra Lenten prayer to pray for you and those in your church. May God bless and keep you.

      Liked by 16 people

    • mdaush says:

      I will include your Church in my daily prayers, as well as all other Christian churches under oppression.

      Liked by 4 people

    • sunnydaze says:

      wow, A2. can you tell us the name of the village? I’d love to see a picture of the church.

      Only been to one Catholic Church in China and that was the huge one in Shanghai, back in the 90’s. The church was there, but it was pretty empty….really empty, just a handful of worshippers.

      All the smaller churches in the countryside that I went to were some kind of Protestant denomination. They were well-attended.

      It wasn’t at all clear to me at the time wether there *were* any other Catholic churches outside of the big one in Shanghai.

      God Bless you all.

      Like

  11. reverence1 says:

    The mother of my mother was jewish, her husband catholic, my other grandmother protestant and her husband a member of the anglican church. Both my parents were protestants and I grew up in a deeply catholic village in Germany shortly after the last war. Through all what this meant for my life I now feel a resonance with the old catholic rituals, still celebrated by the people here. It seems somthing eternal. Thanks.

    Liked by 10 people

    • Sepp says:

      Dear Reverence1:

      Grüß Gott!
      Servus!

      Thank you for sharing this.

      I have a question. Do you remember seeing or hearing about parishes where men were gathered on the right side of the church and women were gathered on the left?

      In one of the rural towns in the Midwest where my Germanic ancestors settled, they brought this practice with them.

      Like

      • reverence1 says:

        This was still the case, when I was a child in the fifties and the sixties, in all catholic churches. Here it changed, but I think in other areas, like Bavaria not.
        Here actually now also in the liturgy the women have a very strong role, something which would have been unbelievable in my childhood. The current priest is very lifeless, more an administrator, very devoted to Rome, and the women are and have been those that pray and keep the church alive.

        Liked by 2 people

    • ladypenquin says:

      I find peace and a serenity in the Catholic Mass and Church. Even just for a quiet few minutes – it reminds me that He is greater than all else, including worries and troubles.

      Liked by 1 person

      • AngelOne says:

        Amen to that! Catholic tradition grounds me, generations upon generations upon centuries all humbly worshipping the same way. It is humbling and brings me a great deal of perspective.

        Like

  12. Homesteader says:

    I remember when my mother told me that I was now old enough to participate in the Lenten fasts and abstinence. Wow. I was able to join the great battle against the flesh and the devil. It was such a great moment that I hope always to remember.

    Liked by 8 people

  13. Jennie P. says:

    Im gonna give up cussing. This is definitely difficult, lol! Appreciate the reminder. I’m a reformed Presbyterian, but those 40 days of preparation are awesome for any believer.

    Liked by 8 people

  14. Jennie P. says:

    Im gonna give up cussing. This is definitely difficult, lol! Appreciate the reminder. I’m a reformed Presbyterian, but those 40 days of preparation are awesome for any believer.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Janice says:

    I really enjoyed the video and reminder. Thank you all.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. kokopuf says:

    Thanks for the post, Menagerie! I’m Protestant, married to a Catholic, and she is off to St Williams for the service while I sit here drinking coffee and reading your beautiful post. Thanks again!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. DaveK says:

    Why 46 days are counted as 40? The answer is that Sundays are not a part of Lent.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mac says:

      The 46 days include the 6 Sundays as well, but Sundays are considered “mini-Easters” and the faithful are encouraged to celebrate the Resurrection on all Sundays, including during Lent. In other words, it’s 46 calendar days, but 40 days of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.

      Also, to note: Lent goes from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday (not Easter Sunday as often thought). Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday are the Triidum, which has it’s own unique designation.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Margarita says:

        Remember also that during Lent, there is no Gloria and no Alleluia at Mass, no flowers at the altar and the sanctuary, and the priest wears purple as a sign of penitence. We are also encouraged to go to confession during this holy season.

        A Blessed Lent to you.

        Like

  18. Augie says:

    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Bob Thoms says:

    I start every Lent with the best of intentions – and fail every year. And my failing isn’t all of a sudden, but a slow breakdown.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. LDave says:

    I hope this comment is appropriate for this thread. Does anyone else remember people often referring to February 14th more appropriately, i.e. as “St. Valentine’s Day”? I seem to recall hearing it a lot as a kid and, at some point, the “Saint” has been removed from the name in popular culture. (Imagine if we just started saying “Patrick’s Day” in March.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sepp says:

      I noticed this, too, and mentioned it to someone who greeted me with “Happy Valentine’s Day.” She said, yes, you are right.

      Commercialism and secularism have led so many to drop the “Saint” from Saint Valentine.

      I am Orthodox and the Church honors two other Saint Valentines in a later part of the year, but not in February.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mac says:

      I think also because the Catholic church removed it from the calendar, meaning it’s not really celebrated (masses offered in remembrance, etc) except for by the culture.

      Like

  21. Saveedra says:

    4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
    John 1:4

    6 Jesus said unto him, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes unto the Father but by me.”
    John 14:6

    “27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me;
    28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never petish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
    John 10:27-28

    Liked by 5 people

  22. Saveedra says:

    The Gospel is a person.
    Righteousness is a person.
    Sanctification is a person.
    His name is Jesus.

    27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me;
    28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
    John 10:27,28

    30 I and my Father are one.
    John 10:30.
    ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Mark 1:15 Jesus said ” Repent and believe in the gospel” the gospel is told and believed in , not done. Rome’s salvation on the instalment plan goes against the gospel. The gospel is found in 1 Corinthians 15 1-4. Paul said we are justified FREELY by his Grace, not COOPERATING with his Grace. Catholics should heed scripture. God saves us by his mercy and grace through Christ alone, not our merit!

    Like

    • Menagerie says:

      Blacklisted. And BTW, you are wrong on every single point.

      Like

      • tessa50 says:

        “God saves us by his mercy and grace through Christ alone, not our merit!”

        Over the years I have come to respect you, Menagerie, and would like to discuss your opinion on this as it seems you think it is wrong. This thread isn’t the place, but if I notice it come up elsewhere and it happens to be a day that health allows, I will talk with you. Thank you for this thread.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Menagerie says:

          Email me tessa, whenever you are ready. Depending on the day it might be a day or two before I respond, but I will.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I agree. This post is not appropriate for this thread.

          Like

          • This would be better posted in the OPEN THREAD section. Im a Protestant and I love the religious content of this site but this seemed inappropriatly placed. I love Conservative Treehouse and read it often. Sadly, this is the first time this site has been a dissapointment.

            Like

        • Agree. This article is targeted for a specific group and dont understand its placement on the CT’s main page? Since when does one group get priority placement over other groups? This priority status seems incongrous with what readers come to expect at CT. A little shocked by this. Please be respectful of all readers who love this site and place content in appropriate threads. Im a Christian and I love the Christian content of this site but one Christian group should not be prioritized above others. Just please be mindful and respectful of all readers. Thank you.

          Like

          • stella says:

            I don’t understand the problem. I’m a Protestant, and I understand and celebrate Lent. If you don’t like the post, don’t read it. It’s quite simple. Frankly, your shock and disappointment are puzzling.

            Liked by 2 people

          • stella says:

            By the way, Menagerie has been both an administrator and contributor here for more than seven years. Perhaps you haven’t been around long enough to understand the totality of CTH/Last Refuge.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Menagerie says:

            Your comment was clearly meant for me, not tessa. Allow me to reply.

            So in other words, you are a Christian and you love the Christian content of this site, as long as it meets only your standards, and not that of other Christians who may have practices different from your own?

            You see, I failed to realize that I had to meet only your standards when I wrote the post. Bad news for you, I frequently write posts of a religious nature, and I have for years. How is it that this is the first one you’ve seen when you know “what readers have come to expect at CT?”

            Liked by 1 person

      • AM says:

        Why do they do that, even when warned? Why is it not enough to say move along and don’t read this if it will bother you? I genuinely will never understand this reaction, this need to react to Catholics specifically, especially when so much of Christianity agrees with most of Catholicism. -head shake-

        Like

  24. AM says:

    “Traditionally, Ash Wednesday and Lent are associated with Catholicism, but that no longer holds true. More Christians are taking advantage of the “forty days” (it’s really 46) today prepare for Easter.”

    I’m do a minor correction of the history in this post. 🙂 Most mainline Protestant denominations have held to the Catholic calendar. Orthodox always has Lent/Easter, the timing is off by a few days. Lutherans come next as major split and have had Lent, Anglicans as well.

    It’s a new thing — it’s in fact very new to ignore Lent/Advent/etc coming with the changes brought on by American Protestantism. (Or the type of Protestantism that found a home here.) It’s from the Reform lines that bring us Baptists, etc.

    The most accurate line would be “Traditionally in the US, Ash Wednesday and Lent are associated with Catholicism, Anglicanism, and Lutheranism”, or something to that effect.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Fidelis says:

    For the past few years (prodded the wife) I’ve been attending the Stations of Cross. I must say this year I’m looking forward to it. There’s something to be said about being surrounded by fellow travelers of life, and all of us reciting the most critical moment of our faith. After wards, one can’t help but feel sense of renewal, gratitude, and resolve to do better.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. David says:

    More Christians are taking advantage of the “forty days” (it’s really 46) today prepare for Easter.

    The tradition of Lent is that the 40 days do not count the Sundays. In other words, Sunday is a day of rest and worship and not a day of Lent and preparation for Easter. When Christians fasted during the entirety of Lent, they would not fast on the Sundays during Lent.

    Like

  27. gymcy81 says:

    For those that are ‘giving it up’ for a selfless bigger purpose, like HIM, and ‘loving thy neighbors’ (Matthew 22)
    by doing unpaid good deeds for others as in “paying it forward” (such the recipient of the good deed, subsequently does another, may different, good deed for another person and on and on…

    then, there is a gift to consider seeking out.
    A natural sequel to the 2004 movie “The Passion”
    is coming out March 28, 2018.
    It is called “The Resurrection”
    Link: https://movieweb.com/movie/the-resurrection/

    p.s. Jim Cavaziel is returning in the role of JC.
    He also starred in 5 seasons of the tv series “Person of Interest”

    All are welcome…. to see, and learn…

    Yes, Ash Wednesday (we all bodily return to that from which we came, our spirit is something else…

    Like

  28. FofBW says:

    Thank you Menagerie.

    The wife and I went to early Mass. The Rosary was said before Mass to really set off the day. Homily was great and the church was packed!!
    Now I humbly walk around with my little black cross of ashes on my forehead for the day and as a reminder of the gratitude I have.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. m says:

    I love this post, Menegerie. I was thinking of giving up political reading for lent, but couldn’t resist looking into the treehouse and I see your lovely post. I will work specifically to reduce sloth and gluttony. God bless you all

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I was searching about the Stations of the Cross online and found an article that gives the history and explains how it is a practice understood by Christians to be a practice of prayer across the lines of denomination. I know that our local Catholic churches will be gathering to prayer the Stations of the Cross during Lent. Some daily, others on Fridays.

    http://www.crivoice.org/stations.html

    “Beyond all the dogmas and the sentimentalism associated with the Cross, finally it is about faithfulness, servanthood, the commitment of One to another that will not abandon that commitment even when rejected. In a real sense, the cross is about the power of love, the commitment of God to humanity, the faithfulness and grace of God that knows no limits and will yield to no boundary, that will risk even death itself for the sake of new life.

    The journey that Jesus makes to the cross is not easy. Most such journeys of faithfulness and servanthood are fraught with great risk. There is suffering, and the death is real. It is not the end of the story. But it is part of the journey. If we are to remember the cross honestly, we must remember the entire journey, honestly. There will be a Sunday morning, and we cannot forget that part of the story. But not yet. The journey of the Cross winds through Holy Week, from the singing crowds on Sunday to the darkness of Good Friday. Sunday will come. But not without the journey through Good Friday and the Cross. The journey from Sunday will have little meaning without the journey through Good Friday.”

    Liked by 1 person

  31. ladypenquin says:

    I’m sure Menagerie will be along shortly, but you are just so wrong. It takes a lot to get my ire (I think) but how you can call yourself a “fan of this site” and then say what you did…beyond me.

    Each and every day, all threads have faith interwoven. No, you sure don’t have to be Christian to be here, we have faithful Jews and others. Even agnostic, perhaps atheists, but all of them are joined in fellowship with common goals and concerns for a righteous path in life (and for this country) – that includes a moral compass.

    You denigrate millions for the sins of a few. And who are we to Judge? Leave it to God and find some respite from the good we have in this world.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. stella says:

    I don’t agree that Lent is a Catholic thing. I’m not and have never been a Catholic, yet we always went to church on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and Easter, and observed Lent.

    Liked by 4 people

    • All American Snowflake says:

      My sister asked me today if I had ever done Lent. I told her not yet. I’ve never been able to do that. Six-weeks….

      Like

    • AM says:

      It’s not a Catholic thing, it’s just a our good hostess is American Catholic and quite naturally comes at this from that perspective. 🙂

      Almost all of Christianity observes Lent except some denominations of Protestantism that are prevalent in or were founded in the US, post 1790 or so. It’s exceptional not to observe Lent. The Orthodox has a slightly different calendar but seem to be far more serious about Lent than Catholics.

      Like

  33. ZurichMike says:

    I gave up sugar and spirits (hard liquor) for Lent. No sugar in my coffee, no sweets, no desserts. No gin and tonic before dinner. No bourbon in front of the fireplace.

    At least I am not on suicide watch which would have happened if I gave up bacon or pasta.

    Liked by 6 people

  34. All American Snowflake says:

    I’m only one day behind y’all. I had my doughnut today. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  35. MissyT says:

    Side note: I thought the 40 days was without the Sundays …..which is why many Catholics break their ‘fast’ on a particular item on Sunday. True or not?

    Like

    • AM says:

      Some farther up confirmed that Sundays were the day fasts were broken, so that the 40 days is the non-Sundays.

      Like

    • Margarita says:

      True.

      Actually, it’s easier than that. A Catholic needs to fast and abstain only on two days of the entire year: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

      Only one full meatless meal on those days. Plus two light snacks, if necessary, but together they should not equate another full meal.

      People below 18 and above 60 are exempt from the fast. Exempt also are the chronically sick (such as those suffering from diabetes), nursing mothers, and those engaged in hard physical labor.

      But everyone from 14 up are obliged to abstain from meat (not fast) on all Fridays of the year for those in the US and other first world countries. In poor countries, especially those that had been under Spain, abstinence from meat is only observed during Fridays of Lent. In other words, you may eat your regular meals on Fridays in and out of Lent, just no meat.

      It is also advised that the money saved from fasting and abstinence be donated to one’s favorite charity.

      Prayer, fasting, and thanksgiving are the three types of penance recommended by the Church to combat the temptations of the flesh, the world, and the devil.

      The Catholic Church is quite reasonable in its commandments.

      Have a blessed Lent.

      Like

  36. Sepp says:

    There is a small village in Iowa called Saint Donatus. It was settled by families from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

    The Catholic parish there is named in honor of St. Donatus (which one I don’t remember). The parishioners, led by a particular Priest, built an outdoor Stations of the Holy Cross along the hillside. These structures and the others with the parish date from the 19th century.

    Each year, on Holy Friday, the parishioners, joined by several hundred visitors, hold the Stations of the Holy Cross.

    I do not know what the website would be for this, but if anyone wants to see a bit of Europe in the rural midwest, then Saint Donatus, Iowa would be worthwhile.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. New Nonna to be Again!!! says:

    Ash Wednesday is here …… Lent is upon us.

    Participating in its practices of fasting, (increased) prayer, and almsgiving are meant to bring us closer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    As we shared with our third grade Catholic faith formation students yesterday, that first practice (fasting/offering up) can be as simple as not doing s’thing they normally would at any given time (playing video games that day, having cookies or some other dessert after dinner, etc etc) and making their bed or helping set/clear the dinner table if they normally don’t. It doesn’t have to be the same sacrifice every day of the 40. It CAN be, but it doesn’t HAVE to be.

    We silently offer the acts up in our hearts. But why? What is our motivation for this?? Why does our Church teach us this?? To put it most simply, we fast/offer up, pray and practice almsgiving to tangibly show our suffering Savior our gratitude and love. To bring us closer to Him.

    One other detail about fasting/‘offering up’……… we aren’t meant to share what we choose to do or not do. We are called to offer the acts up to Jesus in the depths of our hearts and not lament about them to others. We do this because Jesus taught the people that ‘when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father because the Father sees what is done in secret and will reward you’ (Matthew 6:5-6). We apply Him instructions to our Lenten practice of fasting/offering up by offering our acts in the secret recesses of our hearts to Jesus who sees what we do for love of Him.

    May your Lent bring you ever closer to Jesus. May the horror and sorrow of the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) bring you a glorious Easter Sunday full of joy and His peace.

    Liked by 3 people

  38. sunnydaze says:

    I grew up in a heavily Catholic area so had a lot of tangential familiarity with Catholic stuff cuz of my little friends.

    It wasn’t til I got older tho, that I started going to some of the Catholic and Orthodox services around Easter and Lent. Catholics really know how to do Easter and Lent!

    Thanks for this post.

    Like

  39. tonyE says:

    Why is it that this reminds me of that song by Kansas.. “Dust in the Wind”… ? 😉

    Like

  40. marcyo13 says:

    “Psalm of Life” Longfellow

    “Tell me not in mournful numbers,
    Life is but an empty dream!
    For the soul is dead that slumbers,
    And things are not what they seem.

    Life is real! Life is earnest!
    And the grave is not its goal;
    DUST THOU ART, TO DUST RETURNEST
    Was not spoken of the soul,
    …..
    Let us then, be up and doing,
    With a heart for any fate;
    Still achieving, still pursuing,
    Learn to labor and to wait.

    Like

  41. Keln says:

    “From dust we came, to dust we return”.

    Poetic, and truthfully a summing up of mankind the God-hating leftist would love even.

    Take care in that.

    For we are neither dust nor of the dust, but of the Will of God. Do you think our Lord would go to such great lengths to the benefit of some dust?

    Pretty sure the conversation in Heaven wasn’t “Hey Son, I made these dust bunnies in My image and I want you to pop down and suffer terribly for, there’s a good chap”.

    No, we are not creatures merely from dust, nor do our souls ever touch the dust of what makes up this universe in the end.

    “From dust to dust” in and of itself means that God can create what we are, the essence of what we are, through His will alone, yet does not relegate us to just clumped up matter. We are more than that mass which comprises us.

    A clump of dust can excuse its behavior due to its properties, but man cannot. Man can choose, and that choice separates us from all of it.

    So it is your choices in this short life that determine your eternal role. Make it count, and make no excuses.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Donna in Oregon says:

    I had to read several posts on Lent to understand. Due to family health issues food isn’t a viable option. I gave up all my vices in my walk with faith already. (Although I have dreams about them once in a while, scary!)

    There wasn’t anything I could think of that I would miss and so I finally (after hours of reading comments and about Lent) came up with something that I would miss giving up. In fact it will be very hard for me. Thanks to everyone that posted. I appreciate you!

    I plan to give up the illusion of control. I have a huge problem with this and so it will be a struggle for me. Will need to pray a lot!

    I read this and it helped me to figure out what I could give up that would be challenging and meaningful. I think at some point in my life I truly internalized the “God helps those who help themselves” and took it a bit too far.

    “One of the best tools for longevity and good health is not just taking a walk outdoors but taking a walk while holding the hand of God. When we walk in gratitude for each and every moment, we empower ourselves by empowering our spirits. When we breathe in nature through our eyes, ears and lips, we become certain that not only are our souls eternal, but that God knows how to manage our lives, our troubles, our worries and our days better than we do. So today and everyday “let go and let God”.
    — Philosophy Pure Grace

    Liked by 1 person

    • georgiafl says:

      Psalm 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

      Translation (Approximate English spelling of Hebrew words from Concordance – I’m not a Hebrew or Greek scholar) – Raphah Yada Kiy Anokiy Elohiyim Ruwm Gowy Ruwm Erets

      Rapha H7503 – Yada H3045 – Kiy H3045 – Anokiy H595 – Elohiyim H430 – Ruwm H7311- Gowy H1471- Ruwm H7311 Erets – H776

      Raphah H7503 = Let Go, Stop, Cease totally as though dead.

      Yada H3045 = Know with absolute certainty, intimately, deeply, as in the closest possible relationship, as though married.

      Kiy H3045 – I AM

      Anokiy H595 = I AM that I AM

      Ruwm H7311 – exalted over, rise above, rule over, sovereign, in total control

      Gowy H1471 = all mankind, peoples, multitudes, movements, ideologies, philosophies, pagan religions, gods/idols, etc. and spirit world, angels, demons, spirits.

      Ruhm H7311 – exalted over, rise above, rule over, sovereign, in total control

      Eretz = creation, universe, stars, moons, planets, sun, earth, weather, physics, matter, time.

      Like

  43. Michael Dowd says:

    Whatever we do in Lent should help us become more charitable. Charity is helping others with their needs and wants just as God helps us with ours. This makes charity a Godly thing to do, as the will of God is for the good of each of us. Ultimately, we want to work towards obeying the will of God instantly and enthusiastically. If we can do that consistently we are living as saints.

    Like

  44. Drew in Michigan says:

    Excellent post, thank you for posting it! Just clarify about the forty days so as to remove any confusion.
    [q] We learn from this that even at the time the Nicene Creed was written, at the time Constantine the Great ruled, the Western and Eastern Churches practiced a voluntary fast for 40 days before Easter.
    That this was practiced in Rome and elsewhere is seen in St. Athanasius’ letter from the year 340 A.D. when he returns from a meeting of pastors/bishops from all around the world, and he encourages his own congregations to continue in the same practice of the 40 day Lenten fast as does “the rest of the whole world.”
    In order to count the 40 days of Lent the Sundays of that season are not counted as part of the fast. Rather the Sundays are each a minor feast day. If you add the six feast Sundays to the 40 fast days you get 46 days. That means that the first day of the Fast of Lent is a Wednesday, just as Athanasius explained.[/q]

    https://steadfastlutherans.org/2018/02/redeeming-holy-days-from-pagan-lies-ash-wednesday-ashes-and-lent/

    Like

  45. Charlotte says:

    Content removed. Stop posting these off topic comments or you will be moderated.

    Like

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