Ash Wednesday – 2 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers Begins
“In the face of my darkness,
You are Light.
In the face of my mortality,
You are Life.”
St Gregory of Narek (950-1003)
Father & Doctor of the Church
“O Lord, deal with us,
not according to our sins,
nor requite us according to our crimes.”
BEHOLD, DEARLY BELOVED, the Sacred days are drawing near, the acceptable time, of which it is written – Behold, now is the acceptable tome. behold, now is the day of salvation (II Cor vi)
And so you must be more earnest in prayer and in alms-giving, in fasting and in watching. He that until now has given alms, in these days let him give more – for as water quencheth a flaming fire, so does almsgiving wipe out sin (Eccles. iii. 33).
He that until now fasted and prayed, let him fast and pray still more – for there are certain sins which are not cast out, except by prayer and fasting (Mc. xvii. 20).
SHOULD ANYONE CHERISH ANGER towards another, let him forgive from his heart. Should anyone take, unjustly what belongs to another, let him restore it and if not fourfold, at least that which he has taken, if he desires God to be merciful to himself (Lk. xix. 8).
AND although a Christian should abstain at all times from cursings and revilings, from oaths, from excessive laughter and from idle words, he must do this especially in these holy days, which are set apart, so that during these forty days, he may, by Penance, wipe out the sins of the whole year!
MAY YOU BELIEVE and believe firmly, that if, in these days, you have made a thorough Confession of your sins and done Penance as we have told you, you shall receive from Our Most Merciful Lord, the pardon of all your offences, as did the Ninivites, who earned deliverance from their afflictions by doing penance in sackcloth and ashes (Jn. iii).
So you also, following their example, if you cry out with all your heart to the Lord, you will invoke His Mercy on you, so that, serene and joyful, you will celebrate the day of the Lord’s Resurrection, and, thus blessed, you will after this life cross over to your heavenly home, by the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest, world without end. Amen. – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan. Father and One of the Four Original Doctors of the Latin Church