February 25, 2020

Fortnightly Prayer

A Reflection and Prayer from Principal Fogarty

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Ash Wednesday

This coming Wednesday, Christian Churches celebrate Ash Wednesday which denotes the beginning of Lent – the forty days of preparation for the significant celebration of Easter Sunday.

On Ash Wednesday, we will gather as a school community to begin this period of ‘spiritual boot camp’ – where we examine our lives, and our commitment to humbly live the gospel values of love,justice and peace.

As a symbol of the reality that none of us are immune from failing to reach the lofty heights of Christian perfection, we allow our foreheads to be marked with a sign of the cross. The gesture, made with ashes (and so hard to hide!), publically recognises our heart-felt awareness that we don’t always get things right: that we are imperfect and yet,always seeking personal and spiritual growth.

There is something quite remarkably beautiful about acknowledging our personal brokenness in this way – it is so counter-cultural! To look into another’s eyes (trying not to be distracted by the dark smudge on their forehead!) and own ‘I sometimes get things wrong and I own it and I want to improve’, is a courageous sign of a deep personal integrity.

Loving God, as we receive the ashes on our foreheads, we affirm that we are continually dying to the old ways and rising to newness.
Though change is sometimes difficult, your faith in each of us helps us to break through that which is diminishing, unkind, unjust and unequal to the truest version of ourselves, to live each new moment with ways that bring new hope,new peace and new joy to ourselves and those whose lives we touch.
May we all find that new life as we journey to Easter! As the ashes are placed on our heads, let it be a sign of our willingness to change our lives for the better.
Amen.

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