Ash Wednesday 2016

Only my lips still turn to you,
My livid lips that cry, Repent.
O Weary life, O Weary Lent,
O Weary time whose stars are few.
(C. G Rossetti "The Covenant Threshold" 65-68)

As short as the time
 from spark to flame,
So brief may the distance
 Between heart and being.
(John O' Donohue "In Praise of Fire" 29-32)

"It was the loss of everything that brought him to the bottom of his identity. He hit the bedrock of his sonship. In Retrospect, it seems that the prodigal had to lose everything to come into touch with the ground of his being." (Henri Nouwen The Return of the Prodigal Son 49)

Adoring Father,

You whisper in the shadows:  

                 come home,
dear one
                 come home,
my daughter 
                 come home,
to rest

You are the flame
    that never goes out;
 You are the hearth fire
               that keeps burning
               to light the way home. 

I have no need
 of the layers--
 worn out clothing that covers
 up my true skin. Underneath,
         I am yours. Underneath
the filth, I am
                  a newborn, fresh
from the womb
                  of your forgiveness.
Wash me  
   in your Love.
Cradle me
   in your Peace.
Swaddle me
    in the Joy of Knowing
I am yours and you are mine.

Amen. 

by Lara Stoudt