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  • kendalllasseigne

You Are Dust

As Catholic Christians, today we begin our Lenten journey with ashes placed upon our forehead. We do this to remind us that all we have, our possessions, our health, our family, our friends, and our work all belong to God. We are reminded that we essentially enter this life with nothing, and we will leave this life with nothing.

We are the product of God’s intimate love. All God desires of us is to love Him more than anyone and anything. And He desires that we love others as we love ourselves. Simple. Right?

Simple right up until the “loving ourselves” part takes over. That part where we become selfish and put ourselves first, before God and before others. If left unchecked, our ego becomes so big that we make God and others often just an afterthought. But that’s not how God designed us. His perfect plan is for us to love Him first, above everything because that is the source of all our joy. That love and joy then naturally overflows to others. That’s how God designed us.

I must admit that too often I allow my selfishness to take center stage in my life. Too easily I get so focused on what I want, or so focused on what I am doing, that I fail to see the needs of those around me. I allow the busyness of my life to overshadow me. Too busy to find quiet prayer time to talk with God. Too busy to stop and call my friends to see how they are doing. Too busy to…..

Lent for me is a time to reset. It is a time for me to refocus on what needs to be first in my life. God and others. Ash Wednesday, especially for me, puts my ego in the right order. Hearing the words, “You are dust and to dust you shall return” as ashes are placed on my forehead is humbling. I am reminded that all I have and do belongs to God. I enter life and end life with nothing. It’s what I do in between that time that is most important to God.

Lent is a time to focus on Jesus’ passion and death. It’s through almsgiving (charity) prayer and fasting that helps me to focus on God’s immense love and mercy for me. Fasting for me is not just from certain foods. I will intentionally give up something like not watching TV and I intentionally add something, like buying extra food for our St. Vincent de Paul society. Each time I give up something or give more of something, it helps me to put my desires last. To think less of myself and more of others.

And I especially focus on reestablishing my prayer time during Lent. Resetting my prayer life is what helps me to change. I can put God and others at the center of my life, instead of me. And of course, thinking less of me is always better. It allows me to think more about God and others and then that love and joy begin to naturally overflow.

Today let us remember we are dust and that we enter life and leave life with nothing. Let us intentionally focus on Jesus’ passion and God’s immense love and mercy. Let us begin our time of Lent refocusing on putting God and others first in our lives.


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"Written from the heart,

Inspired by the Soul"

I invite you to spend time with God in your own "Inner Room."

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