Monday, March 23, 2015

A Rose in Lent

The most memorable response as I was distributing ashes this past Ash Wednesday was from a tall man who looked to be in his early fifties. Tracing the ashes on his forehead in the sign of the cross I said: “Remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return.” He leaned in and replied: “Hopefully not too soon ay!” I laughed. He laughed, and went on his way. As unconventional as that response was, there was something refreshingly true about it – naturally, he wants to live! Below is a photo of my new niece Chiara Rose (born on Ash Wednesday!). She is held by her mother, my sister Lauren. Her face beams with freshness, gladness, innocence and beauty. As human beings, something happens when another delights in us - the simple, pure, unconditional delight of another. It awakens us and restores us. For Chiara, it’s happening with her mother. I think that man’s desire to live is about more than mere survival, it’s the desire for what’s written on Chiara’s face.

+ Br Francesco Mary Gavazzi, CFR
Yonkers, NY
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