Ash Wednesday – 17 February- Day One of our Lenten Journey

Ash Wednesday – 17 February- Day One of our Lenten Journey

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)

In Your Light Lord, we see light

“HE WHO follows Me, walks not in darkness,” (John 8:12) says the Lord.
By these words of Christ, we are advised to imitate His life and habits, if we wish to be truly enlightened and free from all blindness of heart.
Let our chief effort, therefore, be to study the life of Jesus Christ.
(Book 1, Ch 1:1)

DISCIPLE: IT IS the mark of a perfect man, Lord, never to let his mind relax in attention to heavenly things and to pass through many cares as though he had none; not as an indolent man does but, having by the certain prerogative of a free mind, no disorderly affection for any created being.

Keep me, I beg You, most merciful God, from the cares of this life, lest I be too much entangled in them.
Keep me from many necessities of the body, lest I be ensnared by pleasure.
Keep me from all darkness of mind, lest I be broken by troubles and overcome.
I do not ask deliverance from those things, which worldly vanity desires so eagerly but, from those miseries which, by the common curse of humankind, oppress the soul of Your servant, in punishment and keep him from entering into the liberty of spirit as often as he would.

My God, Sweetness beyond words, make bitter all the carnal comfort that draws me from love of the eternal and lures me to its evil self, by the sight of some delightful good in the present.
Let it not overcome me, my God.
Let not flesh and blood conquer me.
Let not the world and its brief glory deceive me, nor the devil trip me by his craftiness.
Give me courage to resist, patience to endure and constancy to persevere.
Give me the soothing unction of Your spirit, rather than all the consolations of the world and in place of carnal love, infuse into me the love of Your Name.

Behold, eating, drinking, clothing and other necessities that sustain the body are burdensome to the fervent soul.
Grant me the grace to use such comforts temperately and not to become entangled in too great a desire for them.
It is not lawful to cast them aside completely, for nature must be sustained but Your holy law forbids us to demand superfluous things and things that are simply for pleasure, else the flesh would rebel against the spirit.
In these matters, I beg, let Your hand guide and direct me, so that I may not overstep the law in any way.
(Book 3 Ch 26:1-4)


Quote/s of the Day – 17 February – Ash Wednesday

Quote/s of the Day – 17 February – Ash Wednesday

“Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.
Rend your hearts, not your garments
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger,
rich in kindness
and relenting in punishment.”

Joel 2:12-13

“He need not fear anything,
nor be ashamed of anything,
who bears the Sign of the Cross
on his brow.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“Keep a clear eye toward life’s end.
Do not forget your purpose
and destiny as God’s creature.
What you are in His sight,
is what you are and nothing more.
Remember that when you leave this earth,
you can take nothing that you have received…
but only what you have given – a full heart
enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.”

St Francis of Assisi (c 1181-1226)

“Fasting, when rightly practised,
lifts the mind to God
and mortifies the flesh.
It makes virtue easy to attain
and increases our merits.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of the Church


One Minute Reflection – 17 February – ‘Going to your room …’ St Augustine

One Minute Reflection – 17 February – Ash Wednesday, Readings Joel 2:12-18Psalms 51:3-45-612-1314 and 172 Corinthians 5:206:2Matthew 6:1-616-18 and the Memorial of The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order OSM – Formation on 15 August 1233.

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.” – Matthew 6:6

REFLECTION – “Going to your room, is returning to your heart. Blest are they who rejoice at returning to their heart and who find nothing bad there…

They are greatly to be pitied who, returning home, have to fear they will be chased away because of bitter fights with their family. But how much unhappier are they, who do not dare return to their own conscience, for fear of being chased away by remorse for their sins. If you want to return to your heart with pleasure, purify it. “Blest are the pure of heart for they shall see God.” (Mt 5,8) Remove from your heart the stains of covetousness, the spots of miserliness, the ulcer of superstition, remove the sacrilege, the evil thoughts, the hatred. I’m not only speaking of those things against your friends but even of those against your enemies. Remove them all, then return to your heart and you will be happy.” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father & Doctor of the Church – 2nd Discourse on Psalm 33, <8; PL 36,312

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, just as the Seven Holy Founders, were chosen to be messengers of Your love and forgiveness, grant we pray, that by their prayers, we too may bcome bearers of Your gracious love. Holy Father, You have given Yourself to us in the Face of Your Divine Son.   You have given Him to us to be our food and our portion.   You have consoled us with His presence on the Altar of Offering and washed us with His blood, day by day, You have sacrificed Him to save us.  We pray for the assistance of our holy Mother, during our journey to the eternal glory of the kingdom. Through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.


Our Morning Offering – 17 February – Ash Wednesday 2021 – You Alone are my All and Every Good

Our Morning Offering – 17 February – Ash Wednesday 2021

You Alone are my All and Every Good
By Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)

O Lord, my God,
You are my all and every good.
And what am I, that I should presume to address You?
I am the poorest of Your servants and a wretched worm,
far more poor and worthless,
than I, can ever realise or express.
Yet, Lord, remember that I am nothing,
I have nothing and can do nothing.
You alone are good, just and holy,
You can do all things,
fill all things,
bestow all things,
leaving only the wicked empty-handed.
Remember Your mercies, Lord
and fill my heart with Your grace,
since it is Your will,
that none of Your works, should be worthless.
How can I endure this life of sorrows,
unless You strengthen me
with Your mercy and grace?
Do not turn Your face from me,
do not delay Your coming,
nor withdraw Your consolation from me,
lest my soul become like a waterless desert.
Teach me, O Lord, to do Your will,
teach me to live worthily and humbly in Your sight,
for You are my wisdom,
Who know me truly
and who knew me before the world was made
and before I had my being.


Quote/s of the Day – 6 March

Quote/s of the Day – 6 March – Ash Wednesday and the Memorial of St Colette (1381-1447)

“Yet even now,” says the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping and with mourning
and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord, your God,
for he is gracious and merciful….

Joel 2:12-13joel 2 12-13 yet even now says the lord come back to me - ash wed 6 march 2019.jpg

He need not fear anything,
nor be ashamed of anything,
who bears the Sign of the Cross
on his brow.

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchhe need not fear anything nor - st augustine ash wed 6 march 2019

We must faithfully keep
what we have promised.
If through human weakness we fail,
we must always without delay arise again
by means of holy penance
and give our attention to leading a good life
and to dying a holy death.
May the Father of all mercy,
the Son by His holy Passion
and the Holy Spirit,
source of peace, sweetness and love,
fill us with Their consolation.

Saint Colette

(in her spiritual testament to her sisters)we must faithfully keep - st colette ash wed 6 march 2019.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 6 March – Ash Wednesday 2019

Our Morning Offering – 6 March – Ash Wednesday 2019

Draw me to Yourself, O Lord

(From a Prayer a Day for Lent – 1923)

Lord, Your Cross is high and uplifted;
I cannot mount it in my own strength.
You have promised:
“I, when I am lifted up from the earth,
I will draw all to Myself.”
Draw me, then,
from my sins to repentance,
from darkness to faith,
from the flesh to the spirit,
from coldness to ardent devotion,
from weak beginnings to a perfect end,
from smooth and easy paths,
if it be Your will,
to a higher and holier way,
from fear to love,
from earth to heaven,
from myself to You.
And as You have said:
“No man can come to Me,
except the Father, who sent Me, draw him,”
give unto me the Spirit
Whom the Father has sent in Your Name,
that in Him and through Him,
I being wholly changed,
may hasten to You
and go out no more forever.
Amendraw me to yourself o lord - 6 march 2019 ash wed.jpg

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on PRAYER, The WORD

Remember you are Dust and Unto Dust you shall return

Remember you are Dust and Unto Dust you shall return remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return - 6 march 2019.jpg

Ash Wednesday 6 March 2019

Saint Peter Chrysologus (400-450)

Bishop of Ravenna, Father & Doctor of the Church

Sermon 8 ; CCL 24, 59 ; PL 52, 208

Exercises for Lent:  Almsgiving, Prayer, Fasting

My dear brethren, today we set out on the great Lenten journey.   So let us take our food and drink along in our boat, putting onto the chest the abundant mercy we shall need. For our fasting is a hungry one, our fasting is a thirsty one if it isn’t sustained by goodness and refreshed by mercy.   Our fasting will be cold, our fasting will flag, if the fleece of almsgiving doesn’t clothe it, if the garment of compassion does not wrap it around.

Brethren, what spring is for the land, mercy is for fasting – the soft, spring winds cause all the buds on the plains to flower;  the mercy of our fast causes all our seeds to grow until they blossom and bear fruit for the heavenly harvest.   What oil is to the lamp, goodness is to our fast.   As the oily fat sets the lamp alight and, in spite of so little to feed it, keeps it burning to our comfort all night long, so goodness makes our fasting shine – it casts its beams until it reaches the full brightness of self-restraint.   What the sun is to the day, almsgiving is to our fast:  the sun’s splendour increases the light of day, breaking through the dullness of the clouds;  almsgiving together with fasting sanctifies its holiness and, thanks to the light of goodness, dispels from our desires anything that could petrify.   In short, what the body is for the soul, generosity acts similarly for the fast:  when the soul leaves the body it brings about death;  if generosity abandons the fast, it is, its death.ash wed and good friday - days of fasting and abstinence

A very special day.

The ashes we use are the burnt palms from last year’s celebration of Passion Sunday.
We begin our Lenten journey aware of where we are going.
We want to enter into the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus for us more fully.
That is the purpose of our journey.   It is why we mark our heads with His cross.
It is why we fast today and abstain from meat.from pam fronds to ashes

Our Lenten program is not an effort to save ourselves.
We have been saved by His sacrifice.
Our self-denial helps us, in the darkness that surrounds us,
to prepare ourselves to receive His light.
For this is a journey to the Easter font,
where we will renew the promises of our Baptism,
remembering that in dying with Him in the waters of Baptism,
we are re-born with Him to everlasting life.

This year’s journey begins today.

Yet even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning;

Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Joel 2:12-13joel 2 12-13 ash wed yet even now - 6 march 2019.jpg

Closing Prayer:
it feels like we are embarking
on a Lenten journey together, You and I.
Today, we are invited to let the Holy Spirit
purify our hearts and strengthen us in love.
That feels like what I am looking for –
or what You are looking for in me.
I want to remember how much I need You in my life
and how much my life needs redemption.
I want to remember it clearly and
in the background of my day, today and all through Lent.

On this special day, Ash Wednesday,
may my small sacrifices in fasting be a way to clear away
the clutter in my life to see You more clearly.
May my longing for meat and other food,
help me to focus my life today more outside myself.
Let me be aware of those,
who are in so much more suffering, than I am
and may I be aware of them,
as the brothers and sisters, You have placed in my life.

Lord, I know there is darkness within me and around me.
Bless these days with Your Word.
Let Your Light shine in the darkness.
Help me long for that shining Light
until we celebrate it at the Vigil, six weeks from now.

And most of all Lord,
help me to honour this day with the ashes on my forehead.
They help me remember where I have come from
and where I am going.
May I acknowledge to You my sins
and my deep need for Your loving forgiveness and grace.
I pray that this Lenten season will make me so much more aware
of how much I need Your love and care in my life.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.

“The Lord, who always goes before us, said this and did this (Jn 12:24).   Whenever we experience the cross, He has already experienced it before us.   We do not mount the cross to find Jesus.   Instead it was He who, in His self-abasement, descended even to the cross, in order to find us, to dispel the darkness of evil within us and to bring us back to the light.”

Pope Francis

(at the Canonisation of Saints Francisco and Jacinta on 14 May 2017)


Posted in LENT 2019, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Ash Wednesday and Memorials of the Saints – 6 March

Ash Wednesday *2019

St Aetius
St Bairfhion
St Baldred of Strathclyde
St Baldred the Hermit
St Balther of Lindisfarne
St Basil of Bologna
St Cadroë
St Chrodegang of Metz
St Colette PCC (1381-1447 -aged 66)
More details here:


St Cyriacus of Trier
St Cyril of Constantinople
St Evagrius of Constantinople
Fridolin Vandreren of Säckingen
Bl Guillermo Giraldi
St Heliodorus the Martyr
Bl Jordan of Pisa
St Julian of Toledo
St Kyneburga of Castor
St Kyneswide of Castor
St Marcian of Tortona
Bl Ollegarius of Tarragona
St Patrick of Malaga
St Sananus
Bl Sylvester of Assisi
St Tibba of Castor
St Venustus of Milan

Martyrs of Amorium – 42 saints – Also known as Martyrs of Syria and Martyrs of Samarra
A group of 42 Christian senior officials in the Byzantine empire who were captured by forces of the Abbasid Caliphate when the Muslim forces overran the city of Amorium, Phrygia in 838 and massacred or enslaved its population. The men were imprisoned in Samarra, the seat of the Caliphate, for seven years. Initially thought to be held for ransom due to their high position in the empire, all attempts to buy their freedom were declined. The Caliph repeatedly ordered them to convert to Islam and sent Islamic scholars to the prison to convince them; they refused until the Muslims finally gave up and killed them. Martyrs. We know the names and a little about seven of them:
• Aetios
• Bassoes
• Constantine
• Constantine Baboutzikos
• Kallistos
• Theodore Krateros
• Theophilos
but details about the rest have disappeared over time. However, a lack of information did not stop several legendary and increasingly over-blown “Acts” to be written for years afterward. One of the first biographers, a monk name Euodios, presented the entire affair as a judgement by God on the empire for its official policy of Iconoclasm.
• beheaded on 6 March 845 in Samarra (in modern Iraq) on the banks of the Euphrates river by Ethiopian slaves
• the bodies were thrown into the river, but later recovered by local Christians and given proper burial

Martyrs of Nicomedia


Ash Wednesday – 14 February 2018 Message of the Holy Father Francis for Lent 2018 on the theme: “Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold” (Mt 24: 12).

Message of the Holy Father

“Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold” (Mt 24: 12)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Once again, the Pasch of the Lord draws near!   In our preparation for Easter, God in His providence offers us each year the season of Lent as a “sacramental sign of our conversion”.   Lent summons us and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly and in every aspect of our life.

With this message, I would like again this year to help the entire Church experience this time of grace anew, with joy and in truth.   I will take my cue from the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew:  “Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold” (24:12).

These words appear in Christ’s preaching about the end of time.   They were spoken in Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives, where the Lord’s passion would begin.   In reply to a question of the disciples, Jesus foretells a great tribulation and describes a situation in which the community of believers might well find itself:  amid great trials, false prophets would lead people astray and the love that is the core of the Gospel would grow cold in the hearts of many.

False prophets
Let us listen to the Gospel passage and try to understand the guise such false prophets can assume.

They can appear as “snake charmers”, who manipulate human emotions in order to enslave others and lead them where they would have them go.   How many of God’s children are mesmerised by momentary pleasures, mistaking them for true happiness! How many men and women live entranced by the dream of wealth, which only makes them slaves to profit and petty interests!   How many go through life believing that they are sufficient unto themselves, and end up entrapped by loneliness!

False prophets can also be “charlatans”, who offer easy and immediate solutions to suffering that soon prove utterly useless.   How many young people are taken in by the panacea of drugs, of disposable relationships, of easy but dishonest gains!   How many more are ensnared in a thoroughly “virtual” existence, in which relationships appear quick and straightforward, only to prove meaningless!   These swindlers, in peddling things that have no real value, rob people of all that is most precious:  dignity, freedom and the ability to love.   They appeal to our vanity, our trust in appearances but in the end they only make fools of us.   Nor should we be surprised.   In order to confound the human heart, the devil, who is “a liar and the father of lies” (Jn 8:44), has always presented evil as good, falsehood as truth.   That is why each of us is called to peer into our heart to see if we are falling prey to the lies of these false prophets.   We must learn to look closely, beneath the surface, and to recognise what leaves a good and lasting mark on our hearts, because it comes from God and is truly for our benefit.

A cold heart
In his description of hell, Dante Alighieri pictures the devil seated on a throne of ice, in frozen and loveless isolation.   We might well ask ourselves how it happens that charity can turn cold within us.   What are the signs that indicate that our love is beginning to cool?

More than anything else, what destroys charity is greed for money, “the root of all evil” (1 Tim 6:10).   The rejection of God and his peace soon follows;  we prefer our own desolation rather than the comfort found in his word and the sacraments.   All this leads to violence against anyone we think is a threat to our own “certainties”:  the unborn child, the elderly and infirm, the migrant, the alien among us, or our neighbour who does not live up to our expectations.

Creation itself becomes a silent witness to this cooling of charity.   The earth is poisoned by refuse, discarded out of carelessness or for self-interest.   The seas, themselves polluted, engulf the remains of countless shipwrecked victims of forced migration.   The heavens, which in God’s plan, were created to sing His praises, are rent by engines raining down implements of death.

Love can also grow cold in our own communities.   In the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, I sought to describe the most evident signs of this lack of love: selfishness and spiritual sloth, sterile pessimism, the temptation to self-absorption, constant warring among ourselves and the worldly mentality that makes us concerned only for appearances, and thus lessens our missionary zeal.

What are we to do?
Perhaps we see, deep within ourselves and all about us, the signs I have just described. But the Church, our Mother and Teacher, along with the often bitter medicine of the truth, offers us in the Lenten season the soothing remedy of prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

By devoting more time to prayer, we enable our hearts to root out our secret lies and forms of self-deception and then to find the consolation God offers.   He is our Father and he wants us to live life well.

Almsgiving sets us free from greed and helps us to regard our neighbour as a brother or sister.   What I possess is never mine alone.   How I would like almsgiving to become a genuine style of life for each of us!   How I would like us, as Christians, to follow the example of the Apostles and see in the sharing of our possessions a tangible witness of the communion that is ours in the Church!   For this reason, I echo Saint Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians to take up a collection for the community of Jerusalem as something from which they themselves would benefit (cf. 2 Cor 8:10).   This is all the more fitting during the Lenten season, when many groups take up collections to assist Churches and peoples in need.   Yet I would also hope that, even in our daily encounters with those who beg for our assistance, we would see such requests as coming from God Himself.   When we give alms, we share in God’s providential care for each of His children.   If through me, God helps someone today, will He not tomorrow provide for my own needs?   For no one is more generous than God.

Fasting weakens our tendency to violence;  it disarms us and becomes an important opportunity for growth.   On the one hand, it allows us to experience what the destitute and the starving have to endure.   On the other hand, it expresses our own spiritual hunger and thirst for life in God.   Fasting wakes us up.   It makes us more attentive to God and our neighbour.   It revives our desire to obey God, who alone is capable of satisfying our hunger.

I would also like my invitation to extend beyond the bounds of the Catholic Church and to reach all of you, men and women of good will, who are open to hearing God’s voice. Perhaps, like ourselves, you are disturbed by the spread of iniquity in the world, you are concerned about the chill that paralyses hearts and actions and you see a weakening in our sense of being members of the one human family.   Join us, then, in raising our plea to God, in fasting and in offering whatever you can to our brothers and sisters in need!

The fire of Easter
Above all, I urge the members of the Church to take up the Lenten journey with enthusiasm, sustained by almsgiving, fasting and prayer.   If, at times, the flame of charity seems to die in our own hearts, know that this is never the case in the heart of God!   He constantly gives us a chance to begin loving anew.

One such moment of grace will be, again this year, the “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative, which invites the entire Church community to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation in the context of Eucharistic adoration.   In 2018, inspired by the words of Psalm 130:4, “With you is forgiveness”, this will take place from Friday, 9 March to Saturday, 10 March.   In each diocese, at least one church will remain open for twenty-four consecutive hours, offering an opportunity for both Eucharistic adoration and sacramental confession.

During the Easter Vigil, we will celebrate once more the moving rite of the lighting of the Easter candle.   Drawn from the “new fire”, this light will slowly overcome the darkness and illuminate the liturgical assembly.   “May the light of Christ rising in glory dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds” and enable all of us to relive the experience of the disciples on the way to Emmaus.   By listening to God’s word and drawing nourishment from the table of the Eucharist, may our hearts be ever more ardent in faith, hope and love.

With affection and the promise of my prayers for all of you, I send you my blessing. Please do not forget to pray for me.

From the Vatican


Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Quote of the Day – 14 February 2018 – Ash Wednesday

Quote of the Day – 14 February 2018 – Ash Wednesday

He need not fear anything,
nor be ashamed of anything,
who bears the sign of the cross
on his brow.

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchhe need not fear anything nor be ashamed - st augustine - 14 feb 2018 ash wed


One Minute Reflection – 14 February 2018 – Ash Wednesday

One Minute Reflection – 14 February 2018 – Ash Wednesday

When you fast …groom your hair and wash your face ….Your father, who sees what is hidden will repay you.…Matthew 6:17-18

Fasting 2

REFLECTION – “Fasting, when rightly practised, lifts the mind to God and mortifies the flesh. It makes virtue easy to attain and increases our merits.”…St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Churchfasting when rightly practised - st francis de sales - ash wed 14 feb 2018

PRAYER – Support us Lord, as with this Lenten fast we begin our Christian warfare, so that in doing battle against the spirit of evil, we may be armed with the weapon of self-denial.  Heavenly Father, help us to fast for the right reasons.   Teach us to fast to curb illicit desires and to obtain closer union with You.   Help us Lord, during this Lenten season to cleave to You alone and grow in sanctity and charity.   Create in me a clean heart O Lord!   Through our Lord Jesus Christ in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.o that today - ash wednesday 14 feb 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, LENT, MORNING Prayers, Uncategorized

Thought for the Day – 1 March 2017- Ash Wednesday

“And so we begin a new spiritual journey today – a journey of preparation to rise with the Risen Lord on the day of Easter.   As part of our preparation, the Gospel sets before us reflections on three cardinal works necessary for our spiritual life: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.   These three works deal with three important areas of our life.   Prayer is our relationship with God;  fasting aims at our personal growth and almsgiving reveals our relationship with our neighbour and our responsibilities toward them.

During the Eucharistic celebration today we will be marked with ashes.   By imposing ashes on our foreheads, we are reminded to repent of our sins, to believe in the Gospel and to aim at what is permanent – life with the Risen Lord.” Fr Devasia Joseph SSP

“What the Christian should be doing at all times
should be done now (during Lent) with greater care and devotion,
so that the Lenten fast enjoined by the apostles
may be fulfilled, not simply by abstinence from food
but above all by the renunciation of sin.” – St Pope Leo the Great


Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Quote of the Day – 1 March

Quote of the Day – 1 March

“There is still time for endurance, for patience, time for healing, time for change.   Have you slipped?   Rise up.   Have you sinned?   Cease.   Do not stand among sinners but leap aside.   For when you turn away and weep, then you will be saved.”

St Basil the Great


Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 1 March

One Minute Reflection – 1 March

“Whoever is not with me is against me and whoever does not gather with me
scatters”………Luke 11:23

REFLECTION – “The devil desires to keep souls prisones but the Lord desires to set them free.   The devil incites us to evil but the Saviour invites us to practise good.   What accord is there between works that are so contrary?”…………..St Jerome

PRAYER – My Lord and my Saviour let me never give up the freedom from sin which You won for me. Help me to cling to You and shun all contact with evil. Help me Lord to renew my zeal and ambition to attain holiness in my Lenten journey. May my daily striving be because I love You, Lord Jesus, my love above all things! Amen




Posted in LENT

Ash Wednesday – 1 March 2017

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the season of preparation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.   (In Eastern Rite Catholic churches, Lent begins two days earlier, on Clean Monday.)

Ash Wednesday always falls 46 days before Easter.   While Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation, all Roman Catholics are encouraged to attend Mass on this day in order to mark the beginning of the Lenten season.


The Distribution of Ashes

During Mass, the ashes which give Ash Wednesday its name are distributed.  The ashes are made by burning the blessed palms that were distributed the previous year on Palm Sunday; many churches ask their parishioners to return any palms that they took home so that they can be burned.   After the priest blesses the ashes and sprinkles them with holy water, the faithful come forward to receive them. The priest dips his right thumb in the ashes and, making the Sign of the Cross on each person’s forehead, says, “Remember, man, that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return” (or a variation on those words).




A Day of Repentance

The distribution of ashes reminds us of our own mortality and calls us to repentance. In the early Church, Ash Wednesday was the day on which those who had sinned and who wished to be readmitted to the Church, would begin their public penance.   The ashes that we receive are a reminder of our own sinfulness and Catholics should leave them on their foreheads all day as a sign of humility.

Fasting and Abstinence Are Required

The Church emphasises the penitential nature of Ash Wednesday by calling us to fast and abstain from meat.   Catholics who are over the age of 18 and under the age of 60 are required to fast, which means that they can eat only one complete meal and two smaller ones during the day, with no food in between.   Catholics who are over the age of 14 are required to refrain from eating any meat, or any food made with meat, on Ash Wednesday.

Taking Stock of Our Spiritual Life

This fasting and abstinence is not simply a form of penance, however; it is also a call for us to take stock of our spiritual lives.   As Lent begins, we should set specific spiritual goals we would like to reach before Easter and decide how we will pursue them—for instance, by going to daily Mass when we can and receiving the Sacrament of Confession more often.