Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ash Wednesday

Ash WednesdayIt's that time of the year again, the day when we mark our foreheads with ashes and make lenten resolutions. This year somehow it has a "New Yearish" feeling to it. I'm getting emails on lent and ash wednesday and fasting. I'm reading blogs with people writing of their thoughts on ash wednesday and their lenten resolutions.

This year as I think of my own resolutions, I am reminded once again of the spirit behind whatever I plan to do. Firstly, by my own post last year where I'm reminded that whatever I plan to do or give up, has to lead to a filling up with God. And secondly, reading Fr Chris' reflection for today invites me to be discerning about what I plan to do.

This is the aim that we will have to keep continually before us even as we journey through these forty days. This is the purpose that we have to consider in choosing the places we will visit, the kinds of prayer, fasting and almsgiving we will undertake. And in making our choices it is probably less important what we do, than why we do it. Our activities will be helpful only in so far as they help us to turn more wholeheartedly to the Lord.
At mass I found myself thinking of which meals I wanted to fast, what activities I wanted to give up, and how I wanted cut away all distractions. But still I find myself falling back into the old habit of just concentrating on what I want to give up (and maybe slim down after all that CNY feasting).

Praise God for these two timely and apt reminders, and also for the other people who have inspired me with their efforts to make this lent holy through their emails and blogs. May God bless all our efforts, give us strength to persevere and humility not to forget that it is not by our own efforts, but by His love and Holy Spirit that He has given us that we are able to continue..

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