“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
These words, said by the priest during the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday, are a powerful and through-provoking reminder of our sin, finitude, and fragility. Yet at the same time we know that the Lord’s “mercy endures forever” (1 Chronicles 16:34) and that it is the bridge which opens “our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness” (Misericordiae Vultus #2).
Meditating upon the Lenten call for conversion, the fragility of our human condition, and the merciful love of the Father, this poem seeks to express the mercy and love of God. It also seeks to convey a desire to be enveloped the eternal mystery of the Father’s love; a love in whose flames we find nothing lacking and where we find a call to be loving and merciful like Him who “gives his entire self, always, freely, asking nothing in return” (Misericordiae Vultus #14).
I am but ashes, I am but dust,
Gone at the slightest gust.
Yet, ashes first-loved,
And dust held most dear,
You ever seek to draw me near.
But to come close,
Living charity I need to be,
Burning with love to the highest degree.
A burning fire,
A scorching flame sustained,
My heart a sanctuary where Love ever reigns.
Upon the altar of my heart,
I offer myself, a conversion true,
Holding nothing back, I give myself totally to You.
Lord, I wish for love to burn,
With such great intensity,
That dust, dust and ashes, will all I be.
Cleanse me of my faults,
Of my evil habits too,
Through each and every act of love I do.
O Holy Fire of love impart
That your most saving art,
That I might reflect the Trinity,
Loving God, myself, and all that and those about me.
Created from love…I was but dust and ash.
Aflame with love…I am but dust and ash.
© 2016 – David Strycula para el Centro de Estudios Católicos – CEC