Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Thoughts From Ash Wednesday... From 1991

Kid's head is in the clouds
I can't beat posting the reflections of a 28 year old graduate student named John Janaro written on Ash Wednesday 1991. He was mostly repeating theologians and philosophers and works of literature that he had read. And there's nothing wrong with that, because he was earnest and was engaged in a comparison of everything he learned with his own experience of life.

He was unaware of the fact that he had very little experience. But you wouldn't have been able to tell him that; he would have just thought, "Oh those people over 50 are always saying stuff like that. They sound like my parents."

Still, there was the essential experience of wanting to live, and that is what's at stake here. If anything, we over-fifty types can become a bit too "settled" with our acquired wisdom, and forget that underneath it all the fire of life still burns. We will never be satisfied with dust. If we think otherwise, then it's probably because we have not yet had the ultimate experience which comes only in the act of dying itself. Then we shall be stripped of all but the choice of sadness or a hope that burns its way to love.

God answers the longing that makes us human. I wouldn't say it that much differently today, I suppose. Perhaps the main difference would be that I am more convinced that Jesus is here for me, even if (and when) I can't put anything into words.

I also know a little more about how real and how hard this all is (both death itself and the efforts to evade it), and how much in need I am of the mercy of God.