They’re just church bells. I hear them every day at their set times. But this morning, they reached the ears of my heart. They triggered a perception of Ash Wednesday with such clarity and precision that I was overwhelmed. Church bells ringing, school children in their uniforms evoking the structure and Tradition of our Catholic faith, people flooding the church on a Wednesday at 8:00 am as they surrendered to an invisible force.
There is a sense of freedom as we begin Lent. Freedom from our vices, our distractions, and our indulgences. Freedom from the sins that have made us slaves. Freedom from the hardness of heart that has kept God’s grace just out of reach. The church looks simple and bare. There is less music and more silence. So it is with our hearts. Simple and bare. Less noise and more silence. More room for Him to work.
This is the freedom I hope to welcome into our home during this penitential season. Through prayer, works of mercy, and fewer distractions, I hope to show my children that the boundaries set by God are more freeing than the pleasures of this earth.
We’ll tweak our schedules, adjust our chore charts, and empty our home of unnecessary items. But most of all, we’ll create space for Him. For the Keeper of our souls, our Lover, our Destiny–the One who has the answers to everything.
“Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart.” Joel 2:12
It is in Him that we find our peace, our order, and our true freedom.