Wednesday, March 05, 2014

A cross of ash

The ash cross drawn on your forehead on Ash Wednesday is a reminder of our mortality. Ashes represent death. "Remember you are dust and to dust you will return" says the priest.

"Death heightens love by bringing loss. It deepens beauty by fomenting decay. It focuses life by providing an end. It transforms our imaginations and desires by making us the death-aware animal, a perhaps unique creature in nature."

And so, let's remember this poem by Blake, fragments from "Auguries of Innocence":

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour.

Death is not the greatest loss; the greatest loss is allow parts of you to die while you are still living.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This morning there was a message in my in-box from a friend who is facing the imminent death of a loved one. And then there was notification of your Ash Wednesday post which I sent on to her. I hope those beautiful words give her some form of comfort at this very sad time.