Rob Gieselmann

A Simple Ash Wednesday Offering

A Simple Ash Wednesday Offering

“I offer this reflection by Tim Mathiessen (The Snow Leopard, p. 169, Penguin Books, copyright 1978) as consistent with Ash Wednesday, when the priest marks your forehead with ashes using the same cross that marked your forehead with oil at baptism, this time reflecting the transient nature of human existence. You are dust, and to dust you shall return. Absent grace, where is the meaning?”

I will never leave nor forsake you…

I will never leave nor forsake you…

“At the time, and as a new priest still youngish (any Episcopal priest under fifty is considered “young”), I watched Laura suffer and wonder about how a person in pain or suffering engages spiritually. Centering prayer, meditation, the Daily Office, reading Scripture, praying for others? What might one do to fortify the soul against the body’s attack? What might God ask of the person whose task in life has been reduced to pulling one additional tug of breath into the lungs? Is spirituality possible? Will engaging the spirit ease suffering?”

Rain Must Fall

Rain Must Fall

“Indeed, we all suffer somehow or somewhere in life, and if not direct suffering for ourselves, love of others causes us to suffer, as we watch those we care about suffer so terribly. Suffering is elemental to the broken world, and we cling to the hope that one day, as Scripture promises, every tear will be wiped clean away.”

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