[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=ash+wednesday&iid=4106845″ src=”8/d/3/b/US_Catholics_Begin_2d41.jpg?adImageId=10416395&imageId=4106845″ width=”234″ height=”351″ /]Tonight I’ll come home with an ashen cross on my forehead. By the thumb of my pastor and the holy words “you are dust and to dust you shall return”, I’ll deliberately enter a time of self-examination, repentance and prayer. In this fast-paced day and age, it is a longish time: 40 days. A time Christians have dubbed “Lent”. At the end of the 40 days, we celebrate our resurrected Lord Jesus Christ on what we all know as Easter Sunday.
At 6:30pm I’ll enter a darkened sanctuary bejeweled with glowing candles; I’ll record my sins on paper and say prayers of repentance; I’ll feed my record of wrongdoing to open flame and watch it burn; I’ll sing meditative songs while seeking God’s mercy; I’ll go to the front, kneel and receive the ashes. With my whole body, mind and spirit I’ll worship. My senses will enter worship–all of them. I’ll smell fire, I’ll feel ashes, I’ll see flame, I’ll taste smoke, I’ll hear the Word of God.
If He deigns it, I may experience another sense rising above the others. It is the sixth sense, the spiritual sense. My Lord may give me eyes to see what happens spiritually during worship. For in worship one’s spirit perpetually commingles with the Spirit of God, The Holy Spirit. If He bestows such an awareness I will “see” Him seeing me, I will “hear” Him and He will hear me, I will “touch” Him while He touches me, I will “inhale” Him while He inhales me, I will “taste” Him as He tastes me.
Ummm, yeah, stirs my desire…
Needless to say, off to Ash Wednesday worship I go :)