Ash Wednesday – Beginning of Lent
2 days after Orthodox Shrove Monday, the beginning of Great Lent
[ now playing? ] Sondre Lerche – “I Cannot Let You Go”
This has been the first time in 5 years that I haven’t been in the CBD to receive the ashes signed on my forehead either at St. John’s or at St. Stephen’s given that I am working in Mt Gravatt until after Easter.
I need to be reminded of my mortality. I need to remember that death is only but a breath behind me. Both physically and spiritually I am always ever one step in front of it. And my continued life on earth is not totally dependent on how well I look after my body, etc, etc. But instead, my continued life is contingent only on the good pleasure of my God, Lord and Master.
But this week I have had a reminder of my own mortality in the shocking death by stabbing of a young 12 year old school boy at St. Patrick’s College in greater Brisbane. The 13 year old assailant has now been charged with murder and is awaiting a court hearing. At 12 years old to have one’s life taken away by the act of another is seemingly callous and makes me question (to a degree) whether this sovereignty of God is consistent with his goodness. How this evil tragedy can be permitted. Within the bounds of a church school (St. Pat’s is a Roman Catholic educational institution).
I can’t imagine what it must be like for the priests and chaplains at that school now who have to console and counsel pastorally the students, teachers, “old boys” and families who have been affected by this. Having to try and explain this out to the kids. I do not envy their position nor task. Offering up trite answers to questions is probably the furthest thing from their minds at the moment. I am still somewhat stunned by these events. And I ask myself the question: “If my life ended today/tonight, what on earth do I say to my Maker when I stand before him?”
So far I have done well to post infrequently on here. Maybe this is a good thing for Lent (along with other things). To regain more discipline over my physical life that will assist in disciplining my inner life. Call it overly ascetic if you will, but it’s these practices of the Liturgical Year that have provided me with more grounding than before when I rejected them as being pointless, stupid traditions of man (or something like those words).
Collect for the Imposition of Ashes – 1962 Roman Missal
Oremus. — Concede nobis, Domine,
præsidia militiæ christianæ sanctis inchoare jejuniis:
ut contra spiritales nequitias pugnaturi,
continentiæ miniamur auxiliis.
Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
Let us pray. — Grant us, Lord,
the grace to begin the Christian’s war of defence with holy fasts:
that, as we do battle with the spirits of evil,
we may be protected by the help of self-denial.
Through Christ our Lord.
Collect for Ash Wednesday – 1962 Roman Missal
ut jejuniorum veneranda solemnia,
et congrua pietate suscipiant,
et secura devotione percurrant.
Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum,
qui tecam vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti,
Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum.
Grant, O Lord,
to Thy faithful people,
that they may undertake with fitting piety
this period of fasting,
and complete it with steadfast devotion.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end.