“You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart” (Psalm 51.6)
The “dust” of Ash Wednesday is reminiscent of the “dust of the earth” from which the first humans received life from God’s breath. During Lent, we are called to examine the “Dust” in our lives so that we may be converted by God’s grace. I have noticed that I need to pay attention to my “dust motes” which I usually hide from view; they can get in the way of full relationships with God, with others and with me. These forty days of grace offer us an occasion to “convert” (turn inside out) those habits which impede the growth of relationships. St. Paul gives us the hope that grace is indeed a gift to us, and can set things right if we accept the gift (Romans 5.12-19).
Jesus during his forty days in the desert faced those facets of our lives which cut off relationships when we look only to ourselves without the help of God. Jesus relied on the strength of the Word of God to repel the invitations Satan presented to him. And Jesus was victorious! (Matthew 4.1-11)
As we give time during the coming weeks to discover the “bad habits” in our lives and open our hearts to God’s grace through prayer, fasting and charitable works, may we welcome the Resurrection at Easter with fullness of joy. (For that which needs conversion!)
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit. (Ps 51.12).