O God, who desire not the death of sinners,
but their conversion,
mercifully hear our prayers
and in your kindness be pleased to bless these ashes,
which we intend to receive upon our heads,
that we, who acknowledge we are but ashes
and shall return to dust,
may, through a steadfast observance of Lent,
gain pardon for sins and newness of life
after the likeness of your Risen Son.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever. AMEN.
How glorious it is to acknowledge that I am merely dust, and therefore that the entire meaning of human existence, the fate of the world, the origin of truth, and the overcoming of death does not depend upon me, the mortal one.
No, all of these things are to be embraced rather than invented, received rather than fabricated, lived rather than resisted.
Lent brings us back to the earth from which we came. By it, we are reminded of our place beneath the heavens, on the ground.
By it, and by our steadfast observance of it, God promises to raise us, by pure gift, higher than the heavens. But only if we are willing to die first.
A Blessed Lent to one and all.