"Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return..."
Ash Wednesday reminds us of the curse which fell upon our first parents. This was made clear this past week from the readings taken from the Book of Genesis for Mass, which preceded Ash Wednesday this year.
“Cursed be the ground because of you!
In toil shall you eat its yield
all the days of your life.
Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you,
as you eat of the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
shall you get bread to eat,
Until you return to the ground,
from which you were taken;
For you are dirt,
and to dirt you shall return.” - Genesis 3
I think we need to get back to the beginning to understand the evils of the day, to understand our need for repentance and conversion. We need to know what happened then, and what caused us to be like this now. We need to recognize how the serpent tricked the woman - and how he continues to trick us, convincing us we can be like gods, deciding for ourselves what is good and evil. Therein lies our original sin, a sin which always calls God a liar.
The woman answered the serpent:
“We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden;
it is only about the fruit of the tree
in the middle of the garden that God said,
‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.’”
But the serpent said to the woman:
“You certainly will not die!
No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it
your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods
who know what is good and what is evil.” - Genesis
As I read these passages it seemed to me that if in our fasting from food, we 'chew on' or 'ruminate' these verses, the Holy Spirit will remove our confusion regarding gender, sexuality, marriage and family - and vocation.
We are stardust, we are golden, we are caught in the devil's bargain,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden. - Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
- kinda/sorta. ;)