Catharsis

Ash Wednesday 2009

[ now playing? ] Grant Green – Am I Blue (Blue Note/EMI 2002 remaster, 5355642)

Archbishop Phillip Aspinall was the celebrant today for the 12:30pm Ash Wednesday Mass at St. John’s Cathedral.

And out of my funk, Mass was cathartic for me. A jolt to the system reminding me of my mortality. Of which I considered for a brief moment yesterday morning (that felt like an hour) going into work as I debated whether or not to throw myself down the steps outside the Sofitel just to see what it might feel like. Thankfully reason got the better of me and I instead walked down the stairs slowly and calmly but I was shaken up by the time I was seated in front of my desk and computer at work, almost bordering on tears when Wendy came up to me and asked me how I was going.

But the bigger jolt for me during this period of darkness came as Archbishop Phillip signed my forehead with his thumb the cross of Christ in ashes from the palm fronds used on Palm Sunday 2008 at St. John’s. And especially when he said to me (and everyone else he signed with ashes), while doing so:

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. Repent and believe in the Gospel.”

His short homily reflected on this one line in the Ash Wednesday liturgy and how Lent is supposed to be just that in our spiritual walk, a jolt to our complacency and senses, re-orienting us to what is truly important in this life.

Christ’s Body and Blood have never given me as much comfort as they did today during Mass. And while the funk still remains, this may be a turning point. Just maybe. That this time around, I may have hit the bottom earlier than usual and now comes the tough task of climbing back out of the pit of darkness guided by the vision of the light above.

+ bf 2121hrs

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