Most people think of Lent as a time of somber reflection, deprivation and greyness. There are times for a fearless and searching moral inventory. Sacrifice has many lessons to teach. And grey can be soothing in a multifloral, frenetic world.
But this year, when the tone of public discourse seems so uncivil, when so many people seem to be so angry, when we face threats from abroad and within our country, I have chosen to focus on LOVE as a Lenten theme. For I believe that love has power; the power to disarm evil and transform situations from desperation to hope.
As Lent begins today, Ash Wednesday, I will be offering something on the theme of love, and inviting all those around me to spread love wherever they go, into all the everyday situations where it seems to be so lacking.
The mantra for today is “Dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return”. The image for today is a heart within a zen garden; the heart creates ripples in the dust. Love does that. The effect of love is not limited to the object of that love, but expands to include all around. As we contemplate our earthly nature today, let us include in that reflection the power of love and the effect it has had on us.
Questions for reflection:
What loves have shaped my life?
When have I loved freely?
When have I refused to love?
Who am I called to love today?
How could I better show God’s love in my current situation?