Lent is an invitation to look at the ashes of devastation caused by our failure to love as God wills. How often our good intentions can turn to dust. Resolve and perseverance are sometimes hard to come by. Lent provides a focused time where we can assess where and how we have distanced ourselves from God. But Lent is not just a personal journey. It is a communal one. Historically, penance was not a private matter, but a public act of atonement. The ashes on our foreheads make public our faith and our failings. Let us engage in reflection on the places in our lives and in the world that cry out for the atonement of the misuse of power and influence.
Education for Justice
Help me live by Your commandment of love.
Reflect on “the places in our lives and in the world that cry out for the atonement of the misuse of power and influence.” If possible do a communal reflection and choose to share a specific action even if it is just with one other person.
For it is love that I seek, and not sacrifice; knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.
Everything in life has its own time. There is time to celebrate and there is time to mourn. This is the time for reflection and transformation. Let us look within and change into what we ought to be.
Remember that Lent and Ash Wednesday are not just about putting away the bad things. It is about creating good things and helping the poor and the needy, being kind to people and much more.
The proud do not change to improve, but defend their position by rationalizing. Repentance means change, and it takes a humble person to change.
Ezra Taft Benson
Try as far as you can to do everything well, but when it is done, do not think about it. Try, rather, to think of what is to be done next. Go on simply in the Lord’s way, and do not torment yourself. We ought to hate our faults, but with a quiet, calm hatred; not pettishly and anxiously.
Francis de Sales
All religions try to benefit people, with the same basic message of the need for love and compassion, for justice and honesty, for contentment.