Ash Wednesday

woman-ashes-points

By the sweat of your brow
You shall eat bread,
Until you return to the ground
From which you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.
-Genesis 3:19

So what is this thing we call Lent? Most simply put, it is the season the Church sets aside to fast and pray as Jesus did in the desert prior to the start of his public ministry. We begin by receiving ashes to signify our sinful nature and how original sin has led us to a life, once formed by God scooping some dirt into His venerable hands and breathing life into our nostrils, ultimately ending in death.

The liturgical season ends at the start of the Triduum–Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday. Then, of course, Christ’s glorious Resurrection is celebrated on Easter. Lent is our preparation for the Passion, Cross, and the salvation of the Resurrection and its victory over death.

Primarily, lent is a time of prayer and repentance leading the contrite to a conversion of heart–metanoia. It should be a time of austerity, giving something up, so that we can empty ourselves so to be filled with Christ.

In this intentionally reflective season, my blog posts will have a different structure. The primary scripture used for the prayers posted on Tuesday will come from the lament and cry for forgiveness of David’s sin, Psalm 51. The poems posted each Thursday will be meant to give a sense of seeking renewal. The reflections on the Sunday readings which post each Saturday will be short, with a focus on a single passage (or two) from the readings meant to provide an opportunity for personal reflection.

I pray this time of fish fries and Stations of the Cross serves as an invitation to forge a deeper relationship with Christ. I, myself, hope to make more room for him in my life so that I can celebrate the incredible glory of his victory over evil. Peace to you!

May our Lenten fast be pleasing to You, O God Almighty. May we be steadfast in our walk with Christ Your Son, that through his Passion and Cross we may be brought to the glory of his Resurrection. Amen

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