Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, as most Catholics know. It is not a Holy Day of Obligation however, this day begins the Lenten Season on our church calendar and all are encouraged to participate in today's liturgy.

....which of coarse includes the application of ashes on ones forehead. On one Ash Wednesday, I attended Mass at lunch time and recieved my ashes then. Going back to work I got some of the most curious stares. The priest was rather generous with the ashes on my forehead

This is the one time of the year a Catholic can not remain in cognito. It can be a humbuling experience. It is a time of penence, of self reflection.

Today's first reading calls for us to "return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning, rend your hearts, not your garmentsa nd return to the Lord your God." (Jl 2:12-18)

And this from this Morning's Readings (Divine Office)

Psalm 50 (51)
God, have mercy on me

Take pity on me, Lord, in your mercy; in your abundance of mercy wipe out my guilt.Wash me ever more from my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.For I know how guilty I am: my sin is always before me.Against you, you alone have I sinned, and I have done evil in your sight.Know this, so that you may give just sentence and an unbiased judgement.See, I was conceived in guilt, in sin my mother conceived me;but you love truth in the heart, and deep within me you have shown me your wisdom.You will sprinkle me with hyssop, and I will be made clean; you will wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.You will make me hear the sound of joy and gladness; the bones you have crushed will rejoice.Turn your face away from my sins and wipe out all my transgressions;create a pure heart in me, God, put a steadfast spirit into me.Do not send me away from your presence, or withdraw your holy spirit from me;give me again the joy of your salvation, and be ready to strengthen me with your spirit.I will teach the unjust your ways, and the impious will return to you.Free me from the guilt of bloodshed, God, God my saviour, and my voice will glory in your justice.Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will proclaim your praise;for you do not delight in sacrifices: if I offered you a burnt offering, it would not please you.The true sacrifice is a broken spirit: a contrite and humble heart, O God, you will not refuse.Be pleased, Lord, to look kindly on Sion, so that the walls of Jerusalem can be rebuilt,Then indeed you will accept the proper sacrifices, gifts and burnt offerings; then indeed will bullocks be laid upon your altar.Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Have a Holy Ash Wednesday.

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