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“ I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark
Should burn in a brilliant blaze
Than it should be stifled by dry rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor
Every atom of me in a brilliant glow
Than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The proper function of a person is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.”


This poetic work was written by Jack London (1876 - 1916). It was later discovered by an anonymous sports reporter who, in turn, shared it with the Los Angeles Raiders before a football game. He then threw the question out to them, “What does this article say to you?” He was surprised by the lone answer, “Throw Deeper.”

I found this material when I was preparing my weekly Sunday reflection. The Gospel spoke about Jesus reaching out and curing the Leper. It soon began to fit in with my reflection for Ash Wednesday. It called me to reach out. “Throw Deeper.”


I felt the urge to look beyond the ashes and dust that come into my life and to centre on living out of life. Ash Wednesday is the time to enter into the season of Lent … to quieten our minds and to be present to the call of the Creator. Yes! The ashes are a symbol to forgive and to do good. Ashes are a part of our Christian ritual as we gather in faith to receive them. We are reminded that we are all created from ashes, but it is also important to remember that before ashes there was light … the fire of life.


My hope this Ash Wednesday is to be able to Throw Deep - to catch a little more insight into my Lenten journey. I hope to blot out negativity and to be more aware of my gifts and to open the gifts of the people and the beauty that surround me in Gros Morne. As I receive ashes on that day, I hope that the spirit will remain with me and be spread in plenty among the people of Holy Spirit Parish. I will invite them to make use of their ashes as we journey together during the Lenten Season. I hope to honour the Earth as I continue to walk with my Presentation Family and celebrate it among God’s people. I will not waste my ashes. I intend to use my positive energy and use my ashes as building blocks towards the Kingdom.



  • What will Ash Wednesday be for you?
  • How will you use your ashes?

— Margaret McLaughlin PBVM



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Presentation Sisters, P.O. Box 2100, St. John's, NL A1C 5R6, CANADA                          Telephone (709) 753-8340                         Email Sister Lois Greene