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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Flying on Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday. That is the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count). Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. During some Ash Wednesday services, the minister will lightly rub the sign of the cross with ashes onto the foreheads of worshipers.

During Lent my family and I usually give up something. One year I gave up red meat. I still have not eaten it in over 10 years. One year I gave up pizza, champagne, and dark chocolate. Sometimes instead of giving up something I add something. One year I decided to greet strangers when I walked past or to exercise more.

Th goal is to remember that Lent is a period of self-examination and penance. We need to stop and look at our lives, remember what we are made of, remember where we are going, and let go of all those things that don't really matter, all those things that get in the way of loving God, loving others, and being loved by God and by others.

You can read more about Ash Wednesday at

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