I am lacking inspiration in this week that is dedicated to unpacking boxes and fix the paperwork. Luckily, one of the things that came out of the boxes were our books. Thinking about the formula that goes with Ash Wednesday, I collected some excerpts.
Harry was just thinking that all he needed was for Dumbledore’s pet bird to die while he was alone in the office with it, when the bird burst into flames.
Harry yelled in shock and backed away into the desk. He looked feverishly around in case there was a glass of water somewhere, but couldn’t see one. The bird, meanwhile, had become a fireball; it gave one loud shriek and next second there was nothing but a smouldering pile of ash on the floor.
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Because they are so long-lived, atoms really get around. Every atom you possess has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on its way to becoming you.
We are each so atomically numerous and so vigorously recycled at death that a significant number of our atoms — up to a billion for each of us, it has been suggested — probably once belonged to Shakespeare. A billion more each came from Buddha and Genghis Khan and Beethoven, and any other historical figure you care to name. (The personages have to be historical, apparently, as it takes the atoms some decades to become throughly redistributed; however much you may wish it, you are not yet one with Elvis Presley.)
So we are all reincarnations — through short-lived ones. When we die, our atoms will disassemble and move off to find new uses elsewhere — as part of a leaf or other human being or drop of dew.
Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything
The phoenix goes up in flames and is born again from its ashes; an image frequently used by the first Christians to represent the resurrection. A new beginning:
Once again Lent comes to make its prophetic appeal, to remind us that it is possible to realize something new within ourselves and around us, simply because God is faithful, continues to be full of goodness and mercy, and is always ready to forgive and start over from scratch. With this filial confidence, let us set out on our way!
Homily (sermon) of pope Francis tonight