Ash Wednesday always has an effect on me. It’s not just my struggle with fasting, but also my struggle with authority.

I wanna do it my way. I wanna just go along, be happy and comfortable and unencumbered.

The thing is, being comfortable and unencumbered usually aren’t part of being happy, at least not the kind of happy that will last longer than a Tootsie Pop.

Being tepid is the greatest danger for Christians. We pray that faith becomes like a fire in us and that it will set alight others.

-Benedict XVI in his opening remarks for the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization in late 2012

Lent always has a way of inspiring me, and often in ways I don’t expect. It’s a desert, but it leads to an oasis. As with so many other things in my life, it’s not about me. It’s not about my plans, my expectations, my needs. It’s about him and the fire he kindles within me.

So, as we enter the desert today, may our souls be open to the fire of our faith!