Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ash Wednesday in Assisi

To celebrate the the beginning of Lent, I got up early and walked to San Damiano, the small church where Francis heard his call to repair the church.

Lauds and Mass were simple, sung by the friars and the congregation, mostly women religious. The priest was young and gave a short, to the point, homily. Then ashes were blessed and we came forward to be signed. I was surprised when the ashes were dropped on the top of the head, instead of being put on the forehead. But the symbol spoke clearly.

After Mass I walked back to the guesthouse for breakfast and spent th day visiting a few places.

But most of all it was a day, dry like a desert. Tuesday had been full of strong emotions, but the strongest I experienced Wednesday was homesickness for Honduras. I really missed home.

But I also became aware of the way I look for and want security and control. From my reading I am beginning to see that a central part of Francis' message of poverty is the need not merely to relinquish stuff, but more important to live in the precariousness of life with faith in the providence of God.

Francis was so intent on poverty because he feared that houses and books would lead people to seek their security there, rather then in God. The poor don't have that type of security and neither did Jesus.

So, to seek things is to look for other sources of security. And,  Francis once said, if we have possessions, we will need weapons to protect them!

So, I struggled Wednesday.

But the day ended well, with Evening Prayer at Santa Chiara.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Hi John. Thanks for sharing your journey. I'm starting a transition and feeling myself at the threshold and wanting that security you mention. I'll be keeping you in my prayers and hope you find much grace in Rome!