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Ash Wednesday and Spring – A Reflection

March 2, 2022
It’s a beautiful day to be on our back deck

This is an unusual Ash Wednesday and Lenten season for me. For nearly thirty-five years I have always been knee deep in planning worship offerings for Lent. From Minnesota to Abu Dhabi and England and in so many states in the US, it has always been a busy season.

This Lenten season will be a time of Sabbath rest, healing, and renewal. It will been a time to slow down and absorb all that the season has to offer. It will be a time to simply be still.

Even though the past fortnight has been a time of cloudy skies, rain, and cold temperatures in Georgia, Alabama, and Minnesota, today is different. Yesterday and today have been remarkable with the sun shining, birds singing, Canada geese honking, and plants showing signs of new growth. Yes, the beauty of Spring is upon us. Yesterday’s reading from Thomas Merton’s journal spoke to my heart of the joy and beauty of Spring that he experienced at his hermitage.

Yesterday—more truly spring, and this is a spring dawn today, cold, but with birds singing. First time I have heard the whistling of the towhee this year. And the cardinals up in the woods to the west. The promise grows more and more definite. March 2, 1966 from Learning to Love: The Journals of Thomas Merton [Volume Six 1966-1967]

Merton would have been used to the traditional Lenten calendar at the monastery in a way that would be similar to my own experience. One of the reasons I appreciate this particular entry is how Merton stopped in the midst of his monastic daily calendar so that he could simply be still in God’s presence.

As Denise and I continue our time of Sabbath rest during this unusual Lenten season, my prayer is that our hearts and our spirits will be open to all the wonder and awe found in God’s creation.

  1. Peace and blessings

  2. Marianne Sheedy permalink

    You are speaking to my Heart. This is a Lenten journey like no other. Thank you

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