Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

Even now, says the Lord, return to Me with your whole heart ...
 Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast;
call a solemn assembly; gather the people.
Sanctify the congregation; assemble the aged;
gather the children, even infants at the breast.
Joel 2:12+
 "See that you get ready for confession
and Holy Communion, so that you may be
resurrected in grace with Christ Jesus."
St Catherine of Siena 
Ash Wednesday, Julian Falat (1853-1929, Poland)
*Ash Wednesday is solemnly observed by the Church to mark the beginning of
the forty days of penance in the Lenten season. The faithful who attends the
Mass on this day will be marked on the forehead with a cross of ashes as a sign
of conversion, penance, fasting and human mortality.

The marking of the forehead with a cross made of ashes reminds each
churchgoer that (1) God made the first human being by breathing life into dust,
and without God, human beings are nothing more than dust and ashes,
(2) the phrases often used when the ashes are administered remind Christians
of the doctrine of original sin and (3) the cross of ashes may symbolize the
way Christ's sacrifice on the cross as atonement for sin replaces the Old
Testament tradition of making burnt offerings to atone for sin. As the ashes
are being administered, the priest utters one of the following phrases:
"Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel."
"Remember (O man) that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return."
"Repent, and hear the good news."

And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him;
and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. ~Ecclesiastes 4:12
During Lent, we are called to prayer, fasting and almsgiving. They are the "three-fold cord" spoken of in Ecclesiastes 4:12. Satan will not prevail against us if we follow Christ's call to use this three-fold cord as a basis for our Christian walk.


  1. Jeanette, Thank you so very much for this beautiful Lenten Meditation.

    I hope this finds you well and that your Lent will be a Holy One. May Jesus asist each of us with His Graces so that we may make Godly Choices this Lenten Season. A blessed day to you and yours and all who stop by. John K>

  2. Yes - grace upon grace - may we rise from Lent more whole, more holy.