Life & Stories

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday marks the first day of lent deriving the name from ashes which is used as a mark of the ceremony usually a cross on the forehead to illustrate deeply the dictum “Remember you came from dust, and to dust you shall return. Its a time for repentance with the words “Repent and believe in the gospel” and as the Christians repent, they also fast. For Catholics, they keep off certain foods such as meats and more specifically on certain days mainly Fridays during the season, Christians can give up other luxuries during this season, it is referred to as Lenten sacrifice honoring the accounts of Jesus’ sacrifice. Lent lasts 40 days to symbolize the days Jesus spent in the desert fasting and preparing for his ministry Lent season precedes the Easter holidays and its meant to prepare Christians for Easter through prayer and repentance, usually six weeks before Easter and Palm Sunday a part of the season which indicates the last week of Lent and beginning of Holy Week.

This is a great season; I can imagine the Holiness through to Easter. Holiness in this case is a state just like the many other states which we limit to things and places such as heaven and abundance. Last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, I did not attend the Church service, actually, I haven’t been to church this year, but I plan on going. I have been indifferent to so many things. I am however not guilty or in fear of missing the services. There was a time when I would feel some guilt for missing church, this is because I hadn’t found myself and truly understood prayer, faith, religion, and Agape love.

This does not mean I am less of a believer now, actually it’s the opposite. I believe more than I did, trust deeper and in true faith in God. I am grateful for the path to enlightenment. Many attend church because they were brought up knowing Sundays are for church, then there is the need for prayer, maybe repent, at times say thank you, converse with God then the feel-good for not missing church and faintly catch up with a friend, neighbors or Christian groups, some participate in church activities, get a sense of purpose higher than themselves. Apart from growing us spiritually, the church also helps us grow socially creating a balance of life. There are many reasons why we go to church and to find and understand yours is very important.

A few months ago, I learned that prayer is a feeling. Whatever we feel during our days outside the church or the many other prayers often associated with a situation, action or event such as prayer before a journey, event, meal or travel is also a prayer. Prayer is whatever you feel and believe to be true. We are always in constant prayer during our everyday just that we are not conscious of the prayer. Learning to be present helps with this. What manifests in our lives is what we feel and believe to be true, would you rather be a passive or active Christian? This lent as we repent and prepare for Easter, may we also seek to understand ourselves better this will help us be more present and propel us to growth and peace. Have a Blessed lent season.

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