I decided to start a new version on Blogidays. Since I got sick with Influenza on New Year's Eve and I had to depend completely not only from my husband but from God himself to heal, I did a lot of thinking while I was lying in my bed without anything to do other than to be in silence or watch TV. Since then I've been doing a lot of changes in myself and my family, and in the ways we relate to the society and the system. One of the things I committed to was to put God FIRST, no matter what or who!! I thought I was doing it completely but I was wrong. There is always something new to learn to keep you close to Jesus! Hope you enjoy reading and I wish you grow spiritually this Lent Season!! :)
Wednesday, February 18th,
Dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return." Gn. 3:19
Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God. (Joel 2:13)
The liturgical use of ashes originated in the Old Testament times. Ashes symbolized mourning, mortality and penance. In the Book of Esther, Mordecai put on sackcloth and ashes when he heard of the decree of King Ahasuerus to kill all of the Jewish people in the Persian Empire (Esther 4:1). Job repented in sackcloth and ashes (Job 42:6). Prophesying the Babylonian captivity of Jerusalem, Daniel wrote, "I turned to the Lord God, pleading in earnest prayer, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes" (Daniel 9:3).
Jesus made reference to ashes, "If the miracles worked in you had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, they would have reformed in sackcloth and ashes long ago" (Matthew 11:21).
In the Middle Ages, the priest would bless the dying person with holy water, saying, "Remember that thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return." The Church adapted the use of ashes to mark the beginning of the penitential season of Lent, when we remember our mortality and mourn for our sins. In our present liturgy for Ash Wednesday, we use ashes made from the burned palm branches distributed on the Palm Sunday of the previous year. The priest blesses the ashes and imposes them on the foreheads of the faithful, making the sign of the cross and saying, "Remember, man you are dust and to dust you shall return," or "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel." As we begin this holy season of Lent in preparation for Easter, we must remember the significance of the ashes we have received: We mourn and do penance for our sins. We again convert our hearts to the Lord, who suffered, died, and rose for our salvation. We renew the promises made at our baptism, when we died to an old life and rose to a new life with Christ. Finally, mindful that the kingdom of this world passes away, we strive to live the kingdom of God now and look forward to its fulfillment in heaven.
Q: What is Lent?
A: Lent is the forty day period before Easter, excluding Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter Sunday). [This traditional ennumeration does not precisely coincide with the calendar according to the liturgical reform. In order to give special prominence to the Sacred Triduum (Mass of the Lord's Supper, Good Friday, Easter Vigil) the current calendar counts Lent as only from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday, up to the Mass of the Lord's Supper. Even so, Lenten practices are properly maintained up to the Easter Vigil, excluding Sundays, as before.]
Invite a non-practicing friend to Mass with you.
Almighty and everlasting God, you despise nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent. Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our brokenness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Ash Wednesday is a day of both fasting and abstinence.
Thursday, February 19th
"Whoever wishes to be my follower must deny his very self, take up his cross each day, and follow in my steps." (Luke 9:23)
What to Give Up...
Give up complaining... focus on gratitude
Give up pessimism... become an optimist
Give up harsh judgments... think kindly thoughts
Give up worry... trust Divine Providence
Give up discouragement... be full of hope
Give up bitterness... turn to forgiveness
Give up hatred... return good for evil
Give up negativism... be positive
Give up anger... be more patient
Give up pettiness... become mature
Give up gloom... enjoy the beauty that is all around you
Give up jealousy... pray for trust
Give up gossiping... control your tongue
Give up sin... turn to virtue
Give up giving up... hang in there!
Think of a person with whom you have a strained relationship and make some gesture toward improving that relationship.