I’ve been hearing from some folks that they enjoy this blog, which implies that people are reading it. Yikes! Although I knew that people would, knowing that for sure puts the pressure on. Now I have to make sure everything is spelled correctly and that my thoughts are (at least somewhat) coherent….
Anyway, classes are going well. As a matter of fact, a strange thing is starting to happen. I am finding myself really starting to enjoy my philosophy classes?!?!?!?!? Who knew? I just finished taking an exam in my Philosophy of Religions class. A hour and a half of writing on 4 essay questions. Despite a massive headache, I think I did pretty well. After all, the exam asked me to argue the possibility of the existence of God through parables, picture theories, and literal language (including Personalistic predicates and analogy). No big deal…ha! How agonizing.
Speaking of agony, Lent is here. (Nice segue)
I think that Lent is my favorite time of year. It is quieter and much more exposing. Walking into the sanctuary space at Lourdes, I am struck by the ‘nothingness’ that fills the space so well. Besides the permanent furniture, there are only cast iron candle stands, a few pieces of purple and red cloth and two large barren trees.
Yet these simple aesthetics jog my memory. I remember last Lent and all the Lents before. I remember the ‘pain’ that we go through giving something up (or for that matter adding something on) to make us more aware of Christ’s ultimate Sacrifice. And reflecting on those memories inspire me to make this Lent ‘better’ than the others.
As I was walking into the 7:00pm Ash Wednesday Mass last night, Father appropriately picked Kansas’ song ‘Dust in the Wind’. I laughed at first thinking it an odd selection for such a somber night. But the more I heard the song and listened to the words, I was convinced of something. That we really are dust. Dust that by some Amazing Grace has been organized into a living breathing tomb that is filled with a vibrant soul. And just as dust is scattered across the land by a gentle breeze, we too are scattered and settle into what we think will be a permanent home. And just as we get too comfortable in our new habitat, that gentle breeze comes and shoves us along again. And what exactly is this wind that keeps moving us around? It is God.
Handing out some Catechesis material last night at the distribution of ashes, I saw many people form a line to have some dirt smudged on their face to remind them that we are dust, and that dust cannot move unless there is wind. It made me appreciate the mantra we all heard last night “From dust you came and to dust you shall return.” How true it is.
And here we are now–just beginning this barren season of Lent. We have been placed here and now by the gentle breeze of the Holy Spirit? What shall we do with our time here? As my roommate from college has as his facebook status the other day “Between dust to dust, we should dare to love.” How true it is. Let us not waste this opportunity to take a good look at ourselves. Are we using this time to really reflect and better ourselves? Are we feeling the refreshing presence of God in our lives? Are we ready to re-live in a very real sense the suffering, death and Glorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ?
If not, I suggest you listen to Kansas’ words, for all we really are is just Dust in the Wind.