Today is Ash Wednesday, and so Lent begins. One of the things I am reading for Lent is a series of Lenten meditations entitled "Never Said a Mumbalin' Word" by Mark Francisco Bozzuti-Jones. It is a series of reflections on the spirituals.
In today's meditation he comments: "Ash Wednesday offers the only time throughout the year when we get dirty in church. We are marked with ashes. Can we find the words in our hearts that speak to a condition of ashes?"
Of course, the marking with ashes is not common in some traditions, like my own - but the idea of facing up to the challenge of what the Church can and should say to a messy, chaotic, suffering world raises important questions.
What will they say, in time, about how we have answered them?