Ash Wednesday and Lent Begins!


Wow! How time flies! It seems like it was Christmas, just yesterday. Today, we approach the solemn season of Lent. Throughout Lent, we engage in fasting, prayer and almsgiving. Why? Well, let’s start with Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday

On Ash Wednesday, we take the blessed palms received from the last Palm Sunday and we bring them back to our Church for burning. Once burned into blessed ashes, the priest, or designee, applies the blessed ashes on our foreheads, stating, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and unto dust you shall return.”  These ashes mark us as followers of Christ, for all to see. If you are Catholic, and have received ashes in the past, you know what I mean. Every Ash Wednesday, I always get questions about the smudge on my forehead. With that smudge, I witness to the world that, in my humanity, I am a sinner in need of forgiveness. The dirt on my forehead symbolizes the look of my soul. It also reminds me that I came from the dust/dirt of the earth (like Adam), and that’s where my body is headed upon my death.
During the Lenten season, I am also reminded that my soul is destined for eternal life with God. Lent provides us with an opportunity for atonement with God; to reflect on those areas where we have failed to live up to God’s Will for us. When we make atonement, through the sacrament of Reconciliation, we reunite ourselves to Christ. We can further make known our intentions for reconciliation with God through fasting, prayer and almsgiving.

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