How awful and sobering it must be to look upon those shadows and to think of such horror and suffering. Yet I cannot imagine anyone who would suggest that we should try to wash those images away or try to paint over them. It is important to keep the images before us. As we are reminded and reflect we become strengthened in our resolve to overcome the forces of death and destruction and, with all of our lives, to seek a better way.
I have been thinking about those shadows in preparation for our upcoming commemoration of Ash Wednesday next week. Each year we come forward to have ashes imprinted on our foreheads. It is a gesture that reminds us that each one of us bears within the shadow of the destructive blast of sin – original sin and personal sin.
Lent is the season which invites us to look upon our sinfulness and the suffering it causes – to ourselves and to others. Then we are to strengthen our resolve to seek, with all our lives, the better way of life in Jesus Christ.
Be serious in your prayer, fasting, and almsgiving – and be hopeful too. The more that we can put God first and truly be transformed by the gift of Jesus Christ the more we will wonder why anyone would ever choose any other way of life.
Nativity of Mary could use a good Lent. My prayers, as always, are that God would renew us spiritually and bring us alive with His life.