Remember child that you are dust…

Oh how I remember that first Ash Wednesday when Fr K said those words to me as he pressed ash in to my forehead. “Remember child that you are dust…” Not “Remember man that you are dust…” which had always been the form of words used in that church previously. I was startled initially, expecting the old familiar words and hearing something different. Child. I am a child of God and it was so comforting to hear those words said to me so intimately. I am not ashamed to say that tears flooded down my face. I have used it ever since I was grown up enough to take services of my own. But I am still a child of God and happy to remain so.

Today there are two opportunities to receive the imposition of ashes at St Mark’s Portobello. (10am and 7.30pm) Bishop Alan Smithson will be preaching at both. I’ve got the lemon ready.

For the last few years I have given up reading fiction for Lent. And I shall be doing the same this year, except for a brief glance at our Book Group book for which I hope I am given dispensation. Should have planned that better and chosen something more meaty. It is always a great discipline for me to give up reading fiction which I love. But I shall be taking on some more serious reading. Here is the list awaiting my attention:

The Life and Work of a Priest by John Pritchard
Wonderful Exchange  – An Exploration of Silent Prayer by Sandy Ryrie
Soul Space by Margaret Silf
Spiritual Emotions by Robert C Roberts (I’m doing a review of this for the Expository Times, don’t you know?)

There’s plenty more awaiting my attention. I’ll let you know how I get on.

And of course I will be checking in to Beauty from Chaos – the daily blog for Lent.

4 thoughts on “Remember child that you are dust…

  1. Pingback: Ash Wednesday

  2. By chance (*Providence*) I came upon your blog. I see that you are taking up some spiritual reading for Lent. Based on your list I can tell that your interested in spiritual growth. There is a book by an Orthodox priest called “Elder Porphyrios: Wounded by Love” that I think might add an interesting voice to your reading list.

  3. Actually, I think I quoted the title wrong. It’s actually called “Wounded by love: The Life and Wisdom of Elder Porphyrios”. That might have been the problem. I just put it into a google search and it came up with this
    It is a different sort of autobiography. It is written by a recently reposed Greek priest-monk, Elder Porphyrios. The title “Elder”, in Greek “Gerondas”, (Startez, in Russian) is given when those around a certain person, usually a monk, recognize his purity and holiness. It is often given out of respect as well, but by no means does one “declare” himself an Elder. It is widely accepted that Elder Porphyrios will soon be canonized by the Orthodox church. The book gives a brief description of his unique, simple life lived out in complete self sacrificing love for God and then offers a broader view of his even more unique (for our times) teachings. They take into consideration man’s whole being and this by a contemporary person who understands the various hardships that modern people go through. He is one of kind I can assure you! His love and kindness radiate off of the pages and if I can be so bold as to say, I think he is able to communicate his goodness to his reader through genuinely revealing his heart and love for God. I would love it, if you happen to ever get a chance to read it, if you would share with me your own thoughts, feelings, and experiences of this gifted Elder.

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