Ash Wednesday begins a time of remembering. We start with ashes marked as a cross. We remember that this human world will end and we will return to the garden of the earth. The ashes remind us of our mortality; the cross reminds us of the new life of Easter.
Lent becomes a 40-day opportunity to withdraw from our busy world, perhaps by fasting from food, our phones, the internet or by adding prayer or quiet time with God. What do we need to let go of in order to focus on our relationship with God?
Like tilling the soil of a garden in preparation for planting, we reconnect with our soul and perhaps pull the weeds of resentments, or use the tool of forgiveness, sometimes even for ourselves.
After 40 days of preparation, the new life of Easter can bloom within us. Easter is the Christian mystery and the culmination of the Jesus story, life through death. May this time of Lent help us remember who we are as souls on a spiritual journey of growing closer to God.