Thursday, February 23, 2012

Commentary – thoughts for an Ash Wednesday

“Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.”
—Mark 1:15

Really, on a firearms blog – you’re going to blog about Ash Wednesday?

Well – “bitter clinger” that I am, and being Catholic no less, I’m not feeling the love from my government and this administration in particular, so I thought I’d share a few thoughts.
Ash Wednesday is the start of the Lenten Season – the 40 days prior to Christ’s death and resurrection. We use it as a time of reflection and introspection – where are we in our faith life? What is our relationship with God? How does this relationship effect our life and the lives of those around us?

For me, the marvel of Christ, and His life and death as a whole, is that it occurred at all. Why on earth did the whole redemption process happen? What was it’s purpose? Why didn’t God simply let us go, set us adrift? “For God so loved the world . . . .” Really? Why??? It’s a question I hope I have the opportunity to ask in person some day – until then, it is a mystery. So, let’s focus on Lent.

I see Lent revolving around the theme of love and sacrifice. I believe Jesus knew what was in store for him. By this time, He knew events were accelerating rapidly and that they would end in his torture and death. He believed He would rise, but I wonder if there wasn’t some doubt in the very back of his mind – what if this were it? Yet, He loved his Father’s creation, His Father’s chosen people and He willingly accepted His fate. Honestly, when I am sitting at Mass – reflecting on what is to come – the emotion is very strong. What have I ever done to be worthy of such a sacrifice? Could I ever find that much love in my being to commit all that I am to save people I don’t know, and will never even meet?  I suspect I would fall far short.

So, for all of us in this season of reflection, introspection and devotion, may we all find a way to become closer to Him, to forgive those things we thought we could never forgive, to draw closer to those around us and to marvel at the sacrifice that we will celebrate in 40 short days.


  1. Good thoughts. Questions that I've asked myself many a time (from a Southern Baptist perspective, not that it matters much...same God, different traditions). The answer I've come up with is a resounding "NO", I'd never be able to live up to His standards, or love the same way He did. Which just goes to highlight how broad that love He had for us, me, was. Puts a new perspective on "unlimited Love".

  2. Nice. I am not Catholic, but I appreciate your passion.

  3. Kirk: Faith is a journey with different questions that come up along the way. I've chewed on this one for quite awhile. There are men who measure up - read "Lone Survivor", very humbling. Thanks for stopping by sir, I appreciate it.

    AGIRL (I like it! :) ) I'm still working on my faith life, fairly intensly for the past 3 years. It is a puzzle to me, I suspect it will continue to be a life-long process.

    1. 100% agreed, sir. I still have questions that make other Christians look at me and wonder if I'm even saved. I also have a habit of questioning some of those "traditions" I've mentioned. I don't own a suit, wear ties only to weddings, and kick my shoes off when I'm in church. Last time I looked, God wasn't all that interested in my wardrobe anyway, and I spend 4 or more hours each Sunday sitting next to the computer running the gets warm in the sound booth. So, yeah, I question a lot of stuff. But questions are what drive us to search, to research, to discover, and ultimately, to grow.

  4. "I wonder if there wasn’t some doubt in the very back of his mind"

    -- maybe not doubt, but as Jesus was bound for the time in a man's body, he had the powerful drive of self-preservation as any man has, which was apparent when he prayed in anguish in the minutes before he was captured. As you said, it makes what he did all the more significant!