words for lent: ash wednesday

“Every sin is an attempt to fly from emptiness.” (Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace)

And this, from Shunryu Suzuki, his book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. (Beautiful book. Go. Buy. A. Copy. Right. Now.):

“We have to go through the gate of emptiness…

“As long as we have some definite idea about or some hope in the future, we cannot really be serious with the moment that exists right now. You may say, ‘I can do it tomorrow, or next year,’ believing that something that exists today will exist tomorrow… But there is no certain way that exists permanently. There is no way set up for us. Moment after moment we have to find our own way. Some idea of perfection, or some perfect way which is set up by someone else, is not the true way for us” (Suzuki, Zen Mind, 111).

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ…” (Philippians 3:8)

What do we cling to besides Jesus?  What, other than him, constitutes our heaven?  What prevents us from going through the gate of emptiness?   May our possessions, our glories, our proud moments, our trophies, along with our lost dreams, failures, embarrassments, all of it, be burned to ash and fall at His feet.

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1 thought on “words for lent: ash wednesday”

  1. Good thoughts. I’m intrigued as I ponder the paradox of living NOW without regard for any other moment and living with my hope set on the eternity I will spend restored and happy with Jesus.

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