Showing posts with label Ash Wednesday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ash Wednesday. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ash Wednesday Valentines

It's Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day, when we celebrate a martyr, love, and mark our foreheads with an ashen cross as a sign of penance; remember, O man, that thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return.

Love is the unifying factor in this apparent clash of Feasts. The love of the martyr for Christ, even to death, the love of a man for a woman and the love of our Lord, supremely manifested on Calvary. So perhaps the calendar isn't as confusing as it seems but I'll spare you the sermon. Here's the Collect instead.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent; Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

God bless you all this Lent,


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The French Sixty Nine

The eternal suns and systems,
Solid and silent all,
To me are stars of an instant,
Only the fires that fail
From God's good rocket rising
On this night of carnival.

What better way to relax before the onslaught of multiple pancake dinners and the rigours of Lent than a fortifying French 69. You can shake it up like this.

69ml Champagne
30ml Old Raj gin
15ml elderflower liqueur
15ml lemon juice
Lemon twist garnish

Combine gin, elderflower liqueur and lemon juice in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled flute. Top with Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.

Then, as you reflect upon the strange mystery of Ash Wednesday falling on Valentine's Day, raise your glass and drink to victory.



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is upon us and with it a crashing reminder of our own mortality and the need to repent of past and present wickedness. So, in a penitent attempt to atone for the frivolity and shallowness of this small donut shop on the side of the mighty information super-highway, I'll leave us with some wisdom from the Imitation of Christ:

Dear soul, from what peril and fear you could free yourself, if you lived in holy fear, mindful of your death. Apply yourself so to live now, that at the hour of death, you may be glad and unafraid. Learn now to die to the world, that you may begin to live with Christ. (Romans 6:8) Learn now to despise ail earthly things, that you may go freely to Christ. Discipline your body now by penance, that you may enjoy a sure hope of salvation.

Foolish man, how can you promise yourself a long life, when you are not certain of a single day? (Luke 12:20) How many have deceived themselves in this way, and been snatched unexpectedly from life! You have often heard how this man was slain by the sword; another drowned; how another fell from a high place and broke his neck; how another died at table how another met his end in play. One perishes by fire, another by the sword, another from disease, another at the hands of robbers. Death is the end of all men (Ecclesiasticus 7:2) and the life of man passes away suddenly as a shadow.(Psalm 38:7; 143:4)

Who will remember you when you are dead? Who will pray for you? Act now, dear soul; do all you can; for you know neither the hour of your death, nor your state after death. While you have time, gather the riches of everlasting life. (Luke 12:33; Galatians 6:8) Think only of your salvation, and care only for the things of God. Make friends now, by honouring the Saints of God and by following their example, that when this life is over, they may welcome you to your eternal home.(Luke 16:9)

Keep yourself a stranger and pilgrim upon earth, (I Peter 2:11), to whom the affairs of this world are of no concern. Keep your heart free and lifted up to God, for here you have no abiding city.(Hebrews13:14) Daily direct your prayers and longings to Heaven, that at your death your soul may merit to pass joyfully into the presence of God.

I wish you all a holy and blessed Lent,


Friday, February 15, 2013

Lent Begins...

I know it's two days late and several dollars short, but I hope you all had a blessed and penitential Ash Wednesday and beginning of Lent.

I'll leave you with some Eliot, from Ash Wednesday:

Lady of silences 
Calm and distressed 
Torn and most whole 
Rose of memory 
Rose of forgetfulness 
Exhausted and life-giving 
Worried reposeful 
The single Rose 
Is now the Garden 
Where all loves end 
Terminate torment 
Of love unsatisfied 
The greater torment 
Of love satisfied
 End of the endless 
Journey to no end 
Conclusion of all that 
Is inconclusible 
Speech without word and 
Word of no speech 
Grace to the Mother 
For the Garden 
Where all love ends.

Reads like a Litany, I always think. CS. Lewis hated TS Eliot's poetry, apparently. I like both.

God bless,


Friday, February 24, 2012

Good Horse!

I love Texas
After an exhausting round of back to back pancake suppers and Ash Wednesday Masses with Imposition of Ashes, I figured it was high time to get out in the field and ride JB.

She was looking a little skinny, which is odd because she's being fed well enough. I wondered if she was being run off her food by another horse, or possibly her teeth needed floating. Then again, some think that the soil in her pasture is mineral deficient. Maybe all these aspects are conspiring together to produce a potentially bad result. Maybe, and a process of elimination will bring us to the truth, Viz. Move pasture, change diet, get teeth checked. The first and second of these things should/will be sorted out next week, after a small ten acre fencing project. But more of that anon.

In the meanwhile, I was impressed with JB's performance -- she's beginning to get the hang of neck reining and managed decent bursts of walk, trot, canter, with fairly well controlled gaits and cadence.

There was a time when those simple things would have been major breakthroughs. Now they're pretty much expected. A testament to the horse's temper and learning ability (she put up with me) and more than a few miles in the saddle.

Well done, horse.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ash Wednesday - And so it Begins

Lent has begun and with it our Holy Mother the Church's call to penance, prayer, fasting and self-denial, leading to ever greater union with Our Lord's Passion. There are several ways to go about this.

The wrong way.

And the right way.

But while we're reflecting on that, here's some verse from Amma Jo, who is "the barefoot rev. Wandering barefoot and amazed through the stuff of mystery and wonder that is real theology." 

Here we go now:

"This is Lent. Smearing our faces with ashes that puff and run and smear and will wash away and stick to our fingers and refuse to stay put. This is Lent, the gentle reminder that to be but a breathe, a puff, a thing here one moment and gone the next is not fearsome but freeing."

Well now we know.

I wish you all a holy Lent.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Ash Wednesday

A member of one of the Missions attended Mass on Ash Wednesday and duly had the sign of the Cross traced on her forehead. It's a powerful symbol, reminding us of our mortality and the need for repentance as we "walk the way of the Cross" during Lent. After the service the parishioner went to Wal Mart to pick up supplies and, not being one to hide her faith, hadn't rubbed off the ashen Cross...

which evidently caused an uproar. A large man spotted the Cross and began to point and bellow, "The Mark of the Beast! The Mark of the Beast!" until he was taken out of the store by his partner.

The point of this story? Aside from the curious conversion of the minions of antichrist to the Cross? I'd say it was simple:

When there's no more room in Wal Mart the dead shall walk the earth. 

But don't get me wrong, I like their cheap ammo.

Have a blessed Lent,


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

They say that the word Lent comes from the old English for Spring, and it was like that here today after such unseasonably cold weather. Regardless, I always find Ash Wednesday has a bleakness about it, "Remember O man that thou art dust"... But whoever said a penitential season was supposed to be fun.

Still, a parishioner lent me a red-dot optic (Aimpoint copy) for the carbine - well done that man, and the missions seem to be pulling together in a good sort of way. Quite unlike NASA's climatologists, who appear to be little better than a "Kantian fact factory in full swing." Then there's the Arlington Pipebombers that got busted before they could strike a blow for the jihad, or mental instability, or both.

Horses tomorrow and perhaps a shoot - might be interesting to check out the new scope.

Have a blessed Ash Wednesday and a holy Lent.