Today is Ash Wednesday. The first day of Lent.
Lent is a time of reflection. A time to change. A time to right wrongs. A time to put things into perspective.
…and this year, time for a new blogging challenge.
Many of my Twitter followers would be aware that I’m participating in #dailyimage2011, where participants take a self-portrait (of sorts) and post to Flickr and Twitter. From today onwards, I’m also going to include that picture in a blog post and also try to reflect on the day. These posts might contain some profound reflection but that’s unlikely. They may contain a thought for the day or perhaps even a prayer.
It is no secret to those who have ever read this blog that I am Catholic. I am proudly so. I do not apologise for this nor will I sanitise my religious views in this public forum. I have the right to express my views just as others have the right to either ignore them or even not read them. Such is the rich tapestry of our free society.
And so for today’s offering…
It symbolises many things.
For me, it reminds me that I have been marked with a sign of faith. I am called to bear witness to that in the world. Too often, many Catholics keep silent or bury their beliefs so deep that nobody would know they have faith except for 1hr a week when they bother to go to Mass.
Tonight I was given an opportunity to talk to a stranger about my faith. The attendant at the local petrol station looked at the black cross on my forehead and we got talking about why it was there. He expressed that he thought we are all better people when we have a faith in something. I said sometimes it takes courage to express it publicly or walk into public spaces wearing an ash cross on one’s forehead. He finished the conversation by saying that he respected me for having that courage.
During the homily at Mass tonight, our celebrant mentioned that Lent offers us a time to get our priorities right. So I guess my thought as we begin Lent is that I would really like to focus on that. Getting my priorities right. Not a bad goal, really.