Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness

40 days – What will you do that matters?

Photo by Pits Riccardo on

Day #1 – Lenten Reflections – Ash Wednesday

Although the year 2020 was riddled with ragged edges, I try to focus on the moments of joy…the extra walks for the dogs, family dinners at the table, organized closets (if only for a week), endless games of double solitaire, and weekly meals prepared by our teenagers.

It’s hard to believe that prior to Lent last year, our “old normal” was still at the helm. In fact, here’s how my 2020 Ash Wednesday post began:

We arrived at Ash Wednesday mass tonight and parking was sparse. During mass, my daughter returned from the bathroom and told me in her loud church whisper that the sacristy (church lobby) was full of faithful Catholics waiting for the next mass. “It’s like Black Friday out there!” she said.

Today, it’s nearly impossible to remember squeezing into a pew or sharing a kneeler with a total stranger. Today, we did not attend church, nor did we receive our ashes, other than the fireplace ashes my son crossed on his head while we all said “remember you are dust and to dust you shall return”. Our daughter – ever the rule follower – proclaimed, “It’s not a Holy Day of Obligation, so we’re fine.” – ah, the on ramp to heaven remains open.

So ready or not, another Lenten season is upon us. As always, I turn to Pope Francis to guide me towards moments of solace. He has said in order to give hope to others, it is sometimes enough simply to be kind, to be

“willing to set everything else aside in order to show interest, to give the gift of a smile, to speak a word of encouragement, to listen amid general indifference”.

Pope Francis

Let’s allow kindness to break the barriers indifference presents.

So whether you wear a mask, or not – listen to NPR or Fox News – or believe in God or Ganesh, let these 40 days be yours to grow in faith and love for yourselves and one another. Please join me as I reflect on the next 40 days of Lent. I’ll share stories, prayers and words of encouragement to keep your mind and body sound.

Now is the time to accept life as it presents itself and do good anyway.

Take care.

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