“By my passions, O Savior, I have lost the beauty of your image; but you have sought
and found it as you once did to the lost coin.”
Excerpt from the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, prayed during Matins today.
A lot about this very candid blog post rang true for me. Despite my real appreciation for this Roman holy day’s spiritual meaning, all of that good fruit is lost when we run around posting selfies of our “good Catholic” selves. And I still can’t decide how I feel about #ashtag–especially the Fellowship of Catholic University Students’ (FOCUS) chart on what kind of ashes you got and their promotion of the ashed selfies–in relation to all of this: just good humor or another means to proclaim to the world how holy we are with our ashes or a distraction from the real meaning of those ashes?
This candid article was a solid reminder to me that Lent–whether we started it with Clean Monday or Ash Wednesday–isn’t meant to begin with a prideful display of piety but with the remembrance that we are sinners desperately in need of God’s mercy.
Lent is not about how good we are, but about our need for forgiveness. It is not about us taking away Jesus’s pain on the Cross or being His savior by our good deeds, but about our need for Him to be *our* savior, regardless of what we do.
“O Jesus, how is it that I could not follow the path of the just Abel, that I could not present to you pure offerings, holy deeds and an unblemished sacrifice, by the purity of my life?
…Despite my faults, O Savior, I truly know that you are the Lover of us all.
You chastise those whom you love, and generous is your mercy; you behold
my tears, and you hasten to meet me, your prodigal.”