Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wed

All I have is thanks.   Feeling so overwhelmed with gratitude for the blessings of my life.   And so tonight, the start of Lent, I will head over to mass to receive my ashes.  I was born and raised Catholic. Sunday mass was never missed.   Although I attend less regularly now, I am grateful for the presence of religion in my life.  I don't talk about it here, or talk about it much, since I completely respect people's various opinions and am firm in what I believe and have no interest in trying to persuade anyone... and I do think there is a fundamental difference between religion and spirituality.  I am both, but much more spiritual than particularly religious.  I was raised a Catholic and although I disagree with many of their social stances and dogma, I agree with their message of universal love, social justice and kindness to those in need.  I am hopeful that the current Pope will bring back some of the Church's true mission. 

But religion is a vehicle.  A tradition. Hopefully, it's a gathering of like minded spiritual people and an avenue to practice my spirituality.  Ultimately, I believe that I have faith in the same God as all God-believing people.  That God is Love.  

Tonight I will receive my ashes and for the next 40 days I will follow traditional Lenten customs.   It's a way to honor what I believe --- life is way beyond our comprehension.  We are spiritual beings, having a human experience. 

“All religions lead to the same God, and all deserve the same respect. Anyone who chooses a religion is also choosing a collective way for worshipping and sharing the mysteries. Nevertheless, that person is the only one responsible for his or her actions along the way and has no right to shift responsibility for any personal decisions on to that religion.” - Paulo Coehlo