Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A CCM Student on Ash Wednesday

A special guest post for Ash Wednesday:

Random student in Biology: “You have dirt on your head.” 
Me: “It’s not dirt, stop touching me.”
Random student in Biology: “No but really there is black dirt all over your forehead.”

Oh Ash Wednesday! -- the annual challenge of every Catholic or Protestant who remembers “you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  (Genesis 3:19) Being 20 years young and Catholic, I am allowed only one meal today….and there I was just yesterday shoving every morsel of food into me as if I was fasting for the entire 40 days. 

Today marks the beginning of my Lenten fast from hot showers and sweets.  I can be spotted whispering, “Get behind me Satan” to the brownies at the sorority house. Tonight’s cold shower will begin with a few choice words uttered under my breath followed by the quickest hair wash I’ve ever performed.  There will be no rinse, lather, repeat.  Just lather. Potentially rinse.  Watch out world. 

But in reality, this day of fasting and abstinence teaches me exactly what it should be about: He sacrificed for me only to rise again. He gave His life without complaint, but here I am counting down the minutes until I can eat my regular four meals tomorrow.  

We endure 40 days of abstinence to praise a Savior who opened the gates of Heaven, but He fasted in the desert for 40 days only to face temptation by the devil and death on the Cross. The challenge is to remember to do this for Him as He did for us.  

I commend all of you that have accepted the challenge of a successful Lent. Allow the love of our Lord to replace whatever you are sacrificing. When you desire whatever it is that you sacrifice, pray to desire Him instead.  

We need Lent. We need to let go of everything that replaces God in our lives.  We need to realize we do not need anything but His love.  And what better way to be a witness to Christ than to parade around campus with ashes in the shape of a cross (or some shape like that) on our foreheads? 

Who knows, maybe I’ll even learn to say a Hail Mary instead of the other choice of words when I get into that cold shower…

Special thanks to Rachel, an Ole Miss student from Alabama, who can be spotted on campus today rocking her ashes and slightly soapy hair.