Ash Wednesday: Beginning again

And so it begins.  The holy season of Lent.
On Ash Wednesday, all day long, I will place ashes in the sign of the cross on people’s foreheads, and say the words: Remember that you are dust.  To dust you shall return.
This may be the most spiritually and emotionally exhausting day of my year.  All day long, with people whom I love dearly, together we will remember that we will all die.  
It feels as if I am doing 200 or so little burial services today.
Today I recall the foreheads, those I have smudged with ashes on past Ash Wednesdays, of people I love who are now resurrected from the dust.
Dick.  Jamie.  Pat.  Andy.  Bill.  Mark.  George+.  Lin.  Marilyn.  So many more.
I will walk these forty days of Lent with the words of St. Benedict in my heart: 

Keep death ever before me.  
And 

Always.  We begin again.
With generosity.  Reflecting on and tweaking my spiritual practices in order that I will be able to live more fully the days that God has given me.   
Where will God lead these forty days?

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