Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
A reminder of our mortality. Not many people dare to envision their own death, departure from their loved ones, the things they haven’t get a chance to do and how people are going to continue living without their presence.
I believe even older folks are afraid to face the fact the one day, every one of us will eventually die. We will either be reduced to ashes as in cremation or buried into the grounds. Or feed the fishes. Wateva.
But hey, welcome to the real world! Where we have to suffer and endure. But sometimes, there are smoother rides. God never promise us Heaven on earth. That Heaven where there is no war, no famine, no poor or ugly people, no petrol price hikes (aiks 🙂 ) doesn’t exist here, dude. So, don’t get angry at God. It is not His fault, ok? He doesn’t want us to suffer but our greedy Eve had taken that first bite and thrown us into this hellish place call earth. So live with it, ya?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Think of the big picture. Imagine your life from the day you are born to where you belong. Neh…the picture up there? Or shall I add another one?
Ya, that’s better. How well are we living it? Do you ever think beyond the grave? Do you picture a place much better waiting for you? I do. Not that I have much choice. Because I am going to break my bones if I have to just so that I can get to see my other son again. And of course, my other loved ones.
19 â€˜Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust* consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust* consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Jesus’s words from the Gospel of Matthew chapter 6:16-18)
We have this faith. The faith in God. It doesn’t matter that some people don’t and try to convince us otherwise. You can harp all day long about scientific facts. Or how you prefer to believe God doesn’t exists. Me? I will believe in my Lord, the God. I am going to wake up at the break of dawn, obediently go to the Obligatory Ash Wednesday mass and do what is expected.
I have just taken a look at the kind of stuffs I am supposed to confess and boy, they look like they are written just for me.
We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.
Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people,
Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to commend the faith that is in us,
And these are just a few. More can be found here.
So…my next biggest problem is….I am supposed to fast. And I know I am terrible in remembering what I can eat or cannot eat. Especially when my kid bring his unfinished food and I will just absent-mindedly popped them into my mouth. Hey, waste not, want not, right? Catholics bro. and sis., can tell me how exactly do we fast on Lenten? It is fourty days! And I confess that I have never once fast. Not even on Good Friday in these last three years.
And hey, lest you think that I think fasting is going to gerenti 100% a ticket to Heaven, no. It is just something that I wish to challenge and discipline myself to do.
Beware of practising your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
16 â€˜And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.*
So, how ler? How do you find fasting? As a Muslim during Ramadhan, as a Buddhist (on 1st and 15th) , or Taoist during the nine emperor god or as a Hindu during Fridays (?). How to survive the temptations? Wikipedia has an interesting page on fasting by the different faiths. I didn’t know there are so many kind of faiths in this world until I read them. The only one not there is probably Ayah Pin. (ok, lame joke)