DUST AND ASHES

Ash Wednesday

Receive this cross of ash upon your brow,
Brought from the burning of Palm Sunday’s cross;
The forests of the world are burning now
And you make late repentance for the loss.
But all the trees of God would clap their hands,
The very stones themselves would shout and sing,
If you could covenant to love these lands
And recognize in Christ their lord and king.
He sees the slow destruction of those trees,
He weeps to see the ancient places burn,
And still you make what purchases you please
And still to dust and ashes you return.
But hope could rise from ashes even now,
Beginning with this sign upon your brow.

(Malcolm Guite, from ‘Sounding the Seasons’)

(images from http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/forests/?accept=abfa9cbdb2405369ff3932ab3aae6c17 and http://stfrancischurchguys.wordpress.com/2011/03/06/catholic-boot-camp-the-sign-of-the-cross/ )

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