In recalling the traditional saying for the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday I substituted “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair” and realized how much Ozymandias, the Shelley poem, could fit as an Ash Wednesday reading:

I met a traveller from an antique land,

Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal, these words appear:

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Lent feels different in a year when we’ve sacrificed so much for so long. I think our Lenten observance this year should be once of remembrance for all we’ve lost since last Easter.