‘Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return’.
Saying this, the priest on Ash Wednesday marks our forehead with ashes. It does not seem a very cheerful way to begin a time for spring cleaning!
But imagine a room that has been neglected for some time. The wallpaper is loose at the edges; the paintwork is chipped and peeling; you can hardly see out of the windows. You know it is going to take some hard work to set it to rights, but then you think of the satisfaction you will feel when it is once more restored to something like it should be. So you set to work.
Lent is a time for a kind of spiritual spring cleaning, a revival of our lives. We fall into bad habits; we get our lives into a mess. And we just may not notice. So we need encouragement. In Lent we have the company of all those other members of our great family, the Church. We have got out our mops and brushes and set about refurbishing the living room of our daily lives.
Where might we start? Why not concentrate on the way we relate to other people? Are we thoughtful and considerate? Do we try not to judge them? Do we pass no critical comments afterwards? In short, are we good to know?
If we can do better just in this one thing we shall have made a very worthwhile Lent.
Mgr John Dunne