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Boston Catholic Journal - Critical Catholic Commentary in the Twilight of Reason



Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday

A Divine Conflagration

Ash Wednesday, a a Divine conflagration from Ashes


Come ... let us know this day: transfiguration in fire!

From the ashes of penance let a conflagration arise ... let it rise up as incense born on a deafening wind by Angels to the very Altar of God —  from ashes, to fire, through utter immolation!

Let this be our holocaust to God this day, the acceptable sacrifice — the conflagration of the self, sealed in the pledge of ashes upon us, a dark remembrance of dust beneath the breath of God ... that imbues it with life; life given to be surrendered this day that it may be transfigured by being vanquished, springing forth as light from the dark and ashen recesses of sin. The surrender that is the victory, the unquenchable fire of love that is the aftermath of ash! The dying that brings life, from the life that brought us death.

Today ... today shall be like no other. We have gathered to ourselves our sorrow as dry sheaves are gathered to the fire. The world this day shall be pulled down behind us! We will not turn back nor grieve its passing. Not this day. We are sealed. Sealed with ash and set afire with consuming love that will leave no dross and not the smoldering of an ember. We will make our offering to God, not in part, nor by parcel, but in a holocaust of ourselves ... so total, so consuming, that its only pledge can be ash ... and so with ashes we are sealed.

This day we behold the end of all things ... that we may one day see their renewal in love, by Him, behold! , Who makes all things new!

Pledge unto pledge. Ash unto ash, Dust unto dust. And it is driven by the breath of God ... scattered into unrelenting night only to uncover the image within that is the breathless beauty of God Himself!

Oh, blessed ashes of our creation! ... more blessed ashes of our re-creation in nothing less than God!

Seize this day! It is a day of transfiguration ... in God!

Oh, holy day!

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Scio opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum 
I know your works ... that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name. (Apocalypse 3.8)


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