Wednesday, March 01, 2006

ASH WEDNESDAY -- The Start of Lent

On Sunday, a visiting priest gave a sermon on Lent; the thesis of his sermon was that the opposite of "Joy" is not sorrow, but rather "SIN". During the 40 days of Lent, Catholics are given the chance to turn from sin, repent and make reparation through sacrifice and service. We are given 40 days to work away from sin and toward Joy. We are given 40 days of focused time to get one step closer to Heaven.

In today's Wednesday audience, Pope Benedict said:

The Lenten journey, by bringing us closer to God, enables us to look upon our brothers and sisters and their needs with new eyes. For this reason, Lent is a favorable moment to convert to love; a love capable of adopting the Lord's attitude of compassion and mercy .... to proclaim the merciful love of Christ, Who continues to turn His compassionate gaze on the men and peoples of all times .... the period of Lent represents a good opportunity to conform ourselves to that "gaze".

As the Deacon placed the ashes on my forehead this morning his words really struck me: "repent and believe in the Gospel". So simple and yet so hard to truly do. My prayer for this Lenten season is that I bring myself (and help to bring all in my family) a little further up the path to Joy, to Heaven.

Prayers to all of you for a fruitful Lenten journey!

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