You Are Dust, and to Dust You Shall Return

It’s Ash Wednesday.  It’s the beginning of Lent.  It’s the day that I am reminded over and over as every person in Mass–babies, young children, teenagers, adults, elderly–everyone comes forward to receive on the forehead a cross made of ashes and I hear Father say, “Remember Man, you are dust and to dust you shall return.”  Every single person is reminded. 

Earlier this week, I read this post from my friend TOOJE, which got me thinking about faith.  Her post reminded me that I have tried over and over to write about my feelings on faith in the big picture, only to be foiled every single time because my thoughts come out a jumbled mess. 

And so, I stick to the small things, the non-earth-moving things.  The simple ideas and I try to paint a picture fitting each one into the whole.  But I can’t ever satisfactorily paint THE BIG PICTURE.

And the reason is because I am Dust.  My body and mind and experience on Earth is fleeting.  I can only touch a small amount of this world during my time here and I pray that I join the Saints in Heaven at some point so that THEN…it will all make sense.  THEN, I will understand God’s plan for the suffering in this world.  THEN, I will completely appreciate the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.  THEN, I will rejoice and praise God eternally and constantly without the mundane concerns of worldly matters.

Today, I read this piece from Jennifer Fulwiler at National Catholic Register.  She’s just too good a writer.  I feel like she writes it so none of us have to try anymore.  She has a beautiful perspective on why Christianity makes sense when you simply reflect on these nine words, “thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.”

I plan to join Lauren on Fridays, reflecting on the Power of the Tongue.  Sins of the tongue are my biggest downfall.  She mentions several “powers” we wield with our tongues:  Criticism, Gossip, Complaining/Negativity, Junk (idle talk and swearing), Encouragement, Praise and Silence.  What a great thing to focus on during Lent and try to be Christ to others with the power of words.

I have disconnected from Facebook for Lent.  I would imagine this would help me with my focus on my words since it is so easy to fall into arguments or petty comments in the social network.

I will not eat desserts during Lent.  All sweets, cookies, cakes, candies…none will cross my lips until the glorious Day of the Ressurection. 

I plan to participate in the Lenten activities and sacrifices our priest has laid out for our parish.

Lent is a time to sacrifice, to grow in holiness, to walk with Christ to Calvary and attempt to comprehend the sacrifice He made for us all.  I anticipate the next 40 days with joy, not trepidation.  It is my chance to make myself better, to offer up my mundane sufferings and to look outward to Christ, to His suffering and death and to His Glorious Resurrection. 

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2 thoughts on “You Are Dust, and to Dust You Shall Return”

  1. Don't count yourself short – the two posts you linked to are in my list of favorite posts (ever, not just from your blog)! We all can't be Jen (my head would explode if it was that smart I think!), and I'm truly thankful for your posts on the 'simple ideas' – they teach me so much!

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  2. Michelle, I like how you write. I used to write for a living, but several years and 3 babies later, and I can't seem to get past the simple, small things either. It's OK though, because St. Therese championed the little way, so I think we're doing just fine. 🙂

    Thanks for linking Lauren's page — I checked it out and maybe I'll follow her Power of the Tongue series. (It's so true — words can hurt more than anything else.)

    Have a good night!

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