Ash Wednesday

 'Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate.' Joel 2 :13

The Season of Lent starts again today. It provokes the thought ‘how time flies?’ It seems such a short time since we last approached the altar to be marked with ashes to acknowledge that we are sinners seeking forgiveness and the spirit of repentance!
Time is a very thought provoking concept in relation to the great Mystery of Redemption which we will be remembering, reliving and praying through, in the weeks ahead
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The passion, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth happened in history, two thousand years ago yet it was conceived in the very first moment of time, the moment of creation and its efficacy continues until the very end of time.

There is something very consoling about this fact. When we feel depressed at our own continuing failures and demoralised by the crime, corruption, cruelty and injustices recorded in  our media and the violent wars and threats of wars around our world, we may be tempted to say ‘What was the point of Christ’s death and resurrection what difference has it made?’

 It is then, that the time concept comes to our aid. Jesus, Truly God and Truly Man operates in the eternal “NOW.” Jesus in his Agony in the Garden, in his sufferings and death on the Cross took onto himself every, sinful thought, word, and action committed by humankind since Adam and Eve, until the  very last person at the end of time.

It is a mind blowing concept, but a true one.

This is why we need the season of Lent. We need constantly, to accept and believe in Christ’s forgiveness, to constantly deepen our awareness of our own sinfulness and to pray for deeper repentance and insight into the working of our hearts. This is not a depressing activity but one that is liberating and life giving. We need, also, to pray that all peoples will come to know and accept the love and forgiveness of God.

Lent is a truly joyous season in which we open our minds and hearts with love, humility and gratitude to Christ who longs to forgive us and to restore us to a deeply satisfying, loving relationship with himself in the unity of the Blessed Trinity.

You may like to reflect again on Catherine's helpful words for Lent 

 Camilla Hunt rsm