The distribution of ashes:  this day is the only day on which there is a very public declaration of faith, which its invitation to jeers, one of which I received, a crude joke, “just kidding,” along with a browbeating from others in the workplace.

Tried to tune in to the Jesuit’s audio retreat, but found it noxious that the word “mercy” is repeated over and over and over again, to fall in line with Papal decree.  In truth, I find that the resurrection of indulgences desecrates reconciliation, for the thinking is that even though one is forgiven, one will be punished nonetheless unless additional, newly announced, rituals are performed.   It stinks of “simony says.”

Tried still to get in to the spirit of Lent, all the nonsense notwithstanding.  In prayer, wondered whether I really believe I will be healed, and what is it that needs healing?  Some needs are beyond words, some needs themselves mask a deeper yearning, a sense of belonging with the Lord.  In my mother’s womb you formed me….

The call to meditation asks that we remind ourselves that we are in the presence of God, that God’s magnificence surrounds and pervades all.  At almost all times in my life at this point I do not sense this, and indeed I feel I wander among godlessness.

Jesus cures the leper, the untouchable, with touch, and then tells him to be quiet about it, telling only the rabbi, so that he might return to society.  What did the leper feel when those who spurned him then welcomed him?  How did he reconcile himself to that, when he was the same person, with or without illness?



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